Wings hope to end season-high skid against Islanders

BY foxsports • December 19, 2014

The New York Islanders have been perfect when taken beyond regulation. Their next opponent has been far from it.

The Detroit Red Wings might not mind avoiding another shootout after losing three during their season-high skid, which they'll try to end Friday night against the Islanders at Joe Louis Arena.

New York (21-10-0) has been off since Monday, when it improved to 9-0 after regulation with a 3-2 shootout victory over New Jersey. Josh Bailey had the winner in the tiebreaker and started a rally from a two-goal deficit by scoring in the second period.

Of the Islanders' 15 wins in their past 20 games, eight have come via overtime or shootout.

"We have a lot of confidence, whether it's in OT or shootout," Bailey said. "We have a lot of guys who can put the puck in the net."

Among them are Kyle Okposo, who tied for the league lead with his fifth shootout goal Monday. He's only missed one of his six attempts in tiebreakers while teammate Frans Nielsen has gone 4 for 6.

New York now tries to avoid a season-worst third consecutive road defeat when it faces a Red Wings team that's dropped four in a row overall. Detroit (17-7-8) lost 1-0 in a shootout to Columbus on Tuesday and dropped to 1-6 in that format this season.

Jimmy Howard has been in net for all six of those defeats - backup Petr Mrazek started the only win. Howard has stopped just 11 of 15 shootout attempts for a 26.7 percent success rate, the NHL's worst among goaltenders to have appeared in more than one. By comparison, Islanders goalies Jaroslav Halak and Chad Johnson have each stopped 80.0 percent.

"I think it goes for the whole team, not just Jimmy," captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "He's not taking the penalty shots. He's just trying to save them. I think we all have to be better. We just have to have more confidence."

Pavel Datsyuk is 2 for 3 in the past three shootout losses - all at home - but his teammates have gone 0 for 5. The Red Wings, 3-8 after regulation, are trying to avoid losing five straight overall and four in a row at home for the first time since December 2013.

Detroit is also trying to snap a four-game home losing streak to the Islanders, which includes a 3-0 defeat last Dec. 23 in the teams' most recent matchup.

The Red Wings enter this one having totaled four goals in their last four games. New York, meanwhile, has given up a combined 11 in its back-to-back road losses.

The Islanders have struggled to kill off penalties in their last six games, allowing eight goals in 18 times short-handed, and now have one of the worst percentages in the NHL at 71.1. The Red Wings have one of the league's top 10 power plays at 22.3 percent and have scored three times in their last seven opportunities.

It's unclear if Detroit will get forward Johan Franzen back after he missed Tuesday's game because of the flu, but he practiced Thursday. The Islanders, meanwhile, placed Michael Grabner on injured reserve Wednesday with a lower-body ailment.

John Tavares has nine points in his last five matchups with Detroit. Darren Helm has three goals and three assists in his past four games against the Islanders but has no points in his last four contests.

share story