NHL Game Preview - Red Wings v Islanders

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5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET22:00 BRT, February 21, 2020
Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, New York  Attendance: 13,917

Skidding Islanders aim to get back on track vs. Wings

Detroit Red Wings at New York Islanders

  1. The Islanders have outscored the Red Wings 12-3 in a pair of wins this season and have won six of the past seven matchups. New York has totaled 18 goals in three consecutive home wins against Detroit while going 5-for-14 on the power play.
  2. Detroit scored at least four goals (excluding shootouts) for a league-low 11th time this season and ended a four-game losing streak Tuesday with a 4-3 victory over Montreal. It was the Red Wings' fourth win this season against the Canadiens. Six of Detroit's 15 wins have come against division rivals Montreal and Boston.
  3. The Islanders completed a winless four-game road trip (0-4-0) with a 3-1 loss Wednesday at Colorado and joined the Red Wings (November 23-29) and Calgary (November 16-21) as the only teams this season to score two goals or fewer in a four-game span.
  4. Mathew Barzal has a goal and 13 assists in eight career games against Detroit for his most points against any non-Metropolitan Division team (Philadelphia, 17; Rangers, 16). Barzal has one goal and nine assists during a four-game home point streak vs. the Red Wings.
  5. Dylan Larkin ranks eighth among active skaters under the age of 24 with 115 total assists since 2017-18. He has six assists during a four-game road point streak against the Islanders.
  6. Since the start of last season, the Islanders are 72-36-13 (.649) with Casey Cizikas in the lineup and 9-11-0 without him. They've also limited opponents to 2.37 goals when Cizikas plays and allowed 3.20 when he doesn't.

Few teams in the NHL could use a break right now more than the New York Islanders.

However with no rest on the horizon, the closest thing to a respite for the Islanders could be a visit from the Detroit Red Wings on Friday in Uniondale, N.Y.

The Islanders were off Thursday after completing their worst road trip in more than six years Wednesday, when they dropped a 3-1 decision to the Colorado Avalanche to finish an 0-4-0 trek.

The Red Wings haven't played since Tuesday, when they snapped a four-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.

The Islanders arrive home after a Western Conference road trip in which they were outscored 11-2. It was the longest winless road trip for New York since an 0-4-0 stretch from Nov. 5-10, 2013.

That trip set the tone for a season in which the Islanders finished last in the Metropolitan Division. New York can only hope there's enough time to prove this winless trek won't define a season that once appeared destined to include a deep playoff run.

The Islanders set a franchise record with a 17-game point streak (15-0-2) from Oct. 12 to Nov. 23, but they are just 17-17-4 since.

New York's three-game homestand against a trio of non-contenders -- the NHL-worst Red Wings, the San Jose Sharks (Sunday) and rival Rangers (Tuesday) -- offers a chance for the undermanned club to regain its footing. Fourth-liners Cal Clutterbuck (wrist) and Casey Cizikas (leg) are both out indefinitely, and Derick Brassard sustained an upper-body injury Wednesday night.

"Right now we're going through some adversity, some guys are drying up, we've got some people out and we need some people to step up," Islanders coach Barry Trotz said Wednesday night. "We can't look back on this trip, we can't do anything (to) repair this trip, but we can repair our next game and the following game and focus on what's ahead of us."

A spot near the top of the June draft is next for the Red Wings, who are in the midst of a massive rebuilding season. Detroit, however, has proven it can play the role of spoiler.

The Red Wings own a pair of multi-goal victories over NHL-leading Boston Bruins, whom Detroit defeated 4-2 on Nov. 8 and 3-1 on Feb. 9.

And the win Tuesday capped a four-game season sweep of the Canadiens, whose inability to beat the Red Wings likely is the difference between playing out the string and battling for a playoff spot.

The Red Wings had lost eight straight games to the Canadiens prior to this season.

"It's one of those things you can't explain," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said Tuesday night. "It isn't like we have great matchups against them, and before this, there was a long stretch where they totally owned us."

--Field Level Media

Updated February 20, 2020

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