Red Wings-Islanders quickie preview: rematch for teams heading in different directions

Things get tricky for the 13-12-and-3 Red Wings this evening as the 7-11-and-5 New York Islanders come to town this evening (7:30 PM EST start on Bally Sports Detroit/MSG+/97.1 FM).

The Red Wings have lost 3 straight, and while the Islanders are looking to earn their first 2-game winning streak of the season, they’ve won 2 of their past 3 games, including a 4-2 win against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday evening.’s Sasha Kendrach posted a very good game preview this morning…

After collecting their first win on home ice on Saturday night at UBS Arena, the New York Islanders are looking to keep the momentum going as they travel to Detroit to take on the Red Wings on Tuesday night for the second time this season and this month. 

In their previous meeting on Dec. 4, the Red Wings defeated the Islanders 4-3 in overtime. The Islanders’ received scoring from their special teams with a shorthanded goal from Cal Clutterbuck and two power-play tallies from Oliver Wahlstrom. Detroit’s win was backed by regulation goals from Filip Hronek, Sam Gagner and Givani Smith while Moritz Seider buried the OT winner. Ilya Sorokin made 26 saves on 30 shots in the loss, while Alex Nedeljkovic made 20 saves on 23 shots in the win. 

The Islanders enter Tuesday’s matchup coming off a big 4-2 win over New Jersey on Saturday night, which marked the club’s first-ever victory at UBS Arena. Noah Dobson scored on the power play, Andy Greene and Jean-Gabriel Pageau found the back of the net at even strength and Zach Parise netted the game winner with a shorthanded goal. Sorokin made 30 saves on 32 shots. 

Since defeating the Islanders in overtime on Dec. 4, Detroit has subsequently lost its last three games. Their most recent loss came at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche on Friday where they were beaten 7-3. Vladislav Namestnikov, Joe Veleno and Filip Hronek (power play) scored, while Thomas Greiss made 4 saves on 7 shots through 10:49 before being replaced by Nedeljkovic, who made 36 saves on 39 shots.

And Detroit Hockey Now’s Kevin Allen summarized the teams’ respective situations:

The New York Islanders desperately need a winning streak and hope to start it tonight against a Detroit Red Wings team in a losing streak.

The Islanders finally looked like a Barry Trotz team a 4-2 home win against the New Jersey Devils Saturday. This is a team that was supposed to be a leading Stanley Cup contender. Instead,  the Islanders have looked somewhere in between in inept and disengaged.

A lengthy winning streak is the only way the Islanders can climb back into the Metropolitan race. The Red Wings are in a three-game losing streak. The only way they can stay in the Atlantic race is to find some level of consistency in their play. They are an improved team, but they haven’t been able to put forth the same performance level game-to-game.

The Red Wings can expect to see Ilya Sorokin in net because Semyon Varlamov has played his way out of the team’s goalie rotation.

Published by

George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.