Even though New York Islanders starting goaltender Evgeni Nabokov went down early in the first period, the Red Wings could not capitalize, after an energy-boosting late goal from Pavel Datsyuk with forty seconds remaining in the third period.“If we hadn’t gone through the last five-six games, this point would be pretty good,” Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “Right now it’s tough; we can’t find a way to win a game. I think we battled hard tonight. It was a back-to-back game and we found a way to come back at the end. Overall, I think it’s a good point, but we were right there to get two points.”
Zetterberg assisted Pavel Datsyuk in two goals past Islanders back-up goalie, Kevin Poulin.
“It was good that we bounced back twice when they scored, and that it was the same line that did it,” Zetterberg said.
Although the Wings are trying to deviate away from over-relying upon their first line in Datsyuk and Zetterberg, it is nice to know for coach Mike Babcock that his team can rely upon the Euro Twins.
“It was a real good point for our team,” Babcock said. “It’s back-to-back nights, they’re waiting for us. We got in at two in the morning.”
“We found a way to get a point. We obviously have to get better. We will get better. It’s pretty obvious we’ve got to win in regulation because the shootout is killing us,” he said.
In fact, the shootout is completely altering the Red Wings’ record.
The Red Wings are currently sitting at fourth in their division, and fourth overall in the Eastern Conference. The Wings have chalked up 25 points in 21 games, leaving them with a sub-500 record. They have dropped their last six games, which is being paralleled by losing their past seven games at the Joe.
The last time the Red Wings won a game on home ice was back on October 15 versus the Columbus Blue Jackets, where they came out on top with a regulation score of 2-1. The last recorded victory for Hockeytown was on November 2, when they waxed the Edmonton Oilers 5-0, shutting out a talented Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and peppering an Edmonton backup goaltender.
The Detroit Red Wings have not yet found a mojo and are not in sync with their intuitive knowledge of winning. With Daniel Alfredsson, Stephen Weiss and Brendan Smith all out of the lineup due to various injuries, the Wings are in a desperate search to, once again, find their ability to finish games for a victory.
The next chance to snap the losing streak will come against former Western Conference foes, the Nashville Predators, at 7:30 p.m. at Joe Louis Arena.
* * *
Information from the Detroit Red Wings was used in this report.
For more information on the Detroit Red Wings and NHL hockey from analysts and journalists at Michigan State University – tune into Octopi Hockeytown podcasts and embrace the Spartan debate at www.impact89fm.org/sports
Austin Goodman is the host of Octopi Hockeytown for Impact Sports.
NYI – 4:03 – J. Tavares (Tip-in) (J. Bailey)
DET – 4:12 – D. Helm (Wrist) (J. Ericsson, N. Kronwall)
DET – 17:18 – P. Datsyuk (Tip-in) (M. Samuelsson, H. Zetterberg)
NYI – 17:50 – C. Cizikas (Backhand) (C. McDonald, M. Martin)
DET – 18:23 – J. Franzen (Wrist) (D. Helm)
NYI – 19:10 PPG – B. Nelson (Wrist) (J. Tavares, A. MacDonald)
NYI – 4:43 – C. Clutterbuck (Tip-in) (A. Ness, P. Regin)
DET – 19:17 – P. Datsyuk (Backhand) (D. DeKeyser, H. Zetterberg)
No Scoring Recorded.
NYI – Frans Nielsen (Scored)
NYI – P. Bouchard (Saved)
NYI – J. Tavares (Saved)
DET – H. Zetterberg (Saved)
DET – P. Datsyuk (Saved)
DET – T. Bertuzzi (Missed)
First Star: John Tavares (1G, 1A, -1, 1 shot, 23:09 TOI)
Second Star: Darren Helm (1G, 1A, +1, 2 shots, 3 hits, 18:21 TOI)
Third Star: Brock Nelson (1G, -2, 7 shots, 2 hits, 23:02 TOI)