Red Wings blow another lead, lose 3-2 to Islanders
The Red Wings let another one slip away Saturday night, but this time they could not come back from it.
Detroit lost 3-2 to the New York Islanders at Little Caesars Arena despite leading 2-0 early in the second period.
“I don’t think we played assertive enough,” Niklas Kronwall said. “First period: We did some good things. Second period: Not good enough.”
Matt Martin scored 3:24 into the third period to break a 2-2 tie and give New York the win.
The Wings blew leads in Tuesday’s 6-5 shootout home loss to Tampa Bay and in Thursday night’s 5-4 overtime win in Toronto.
Scoring for the Wings were Justin Abdelkader (4:59 into the game) and Kronwall (6:07 left in the first with a net-front screen from Abdelkader). It was Kronwall’s 81st career goal to pass Marcel Pronovost for fourth place on Detroit’s all-time goals-among-defensemen list. He trails Nicklas Lidstrom (264), Reed Larson (188) and Red Kelly (162).
Dylan Larkin had two assists and Jonathan Bernier made 16 saves in his second consecutive start.
Kronwall and Larkin also got involved physically in a game that heated up quite a bit. Less than three minutes after his goal, Kronwall turned the clock back about 10 years when he caught Anders Lee with his head down looking at a puck in his skates and applied one of his patented heavy “Kronwalled” hits to Lee’s upper chest/shoulder area.
There was no penalty after the officials huddled as Lee had to be helped off the ice. He later returned.
“I had my head down, looking for the puck in my skates, and he hit me with a good shoulder check. That's hockey,” said Lee, who needed stitches for cuts on his lips, nose and forehead before he returned.
Said Kronwall: “The hard part is not to go towards the head at all … You try to go through the chest and shoulders.”
After that, a couple of Islanders took runs at Kronwall, including Josh Bailey, who tripped/slew-footed the veteran defenseman with less than 90 seconds left in the opening period and was called for a penalty. But Larkin immediately responded by engaging Bailey in a fight and – after getting Bailey’s helmet off his head (remember Anthony Mantha’s broken hand) – won a clear decision, getting in several shots.
“You like Larkin on the ice as much as possible, but awesome to see guys sticking up for each other,” Kronwall said.
But the Islanders seemed to get the momentum as Casey Fizikas (4:31) and defenseman Ryan Pulock (6:57, 5-on-3 power play) scored early in the second period to tie it at 2.
“We had an excellent first period. And we could have had more goals,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “We needed to either score at least one more or not take the 5-on-3, because you are always likely to give up a goal on those and then it was a new game.”
There was another scrum with less than 6:30 to play in the middle period, featuring New York defenseman Johnny Boychuk bloodying Abdelkader’s face in a fight.
Martin Frk had a goal overturned just 17 seconds after Abdelkader scored. The Islanders challenged that the play was offside going into the New York zone and replays showed that it was.
… Tyler Bertuzzi returned after serving his two-game suspension for "unsportsmanlike conduct and roughing” against Colorado last Sunday.
… The Red Wings were without Anthony Mantha (hand), Danny DeKeyser (hand) and Trevor Daley (lower body).