Preview: Red Wings host Islanders
The Detroit Red Wings have shown signs of ending their doldrums, while the New York Islanders continue to spiral toward the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
After dropping six straight (0-4-2), the Red Wings vie for their third consecutive victory when they host the sputtering Islanders on Monday. Daniel Alfredsson capped a two-goal performance with the overtime winner against Calgary on Thursday before netting the decisive tally in a 5-4 shootout triumph over Toronto two nights later.
The veteran Swede collected two goals and an assist in Detroit's 5-0 rout of New York on Nov. 29. The setback was one of many during a woeful stretch for the Islanders, who are just 2-10-4 in their last 16 games. Coach Jack Capuano's club failed to capitalize on the momentum of beating the rival New York Rangers on Friday, dropping a 5-3 home decision to Anaheim on the following night.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, MSG Plus (New York), FSN (Detroit)
ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (10-20-7): Captain John Tavares was none-too-pleased after watching his team fall for the 10th time when it held a third-period lead.
"We're not executing in the third period, closing out games and making it hard for other teams," Tavares said. "We have to do a better job in a lot of areas, especially in our defensive zone and in our coverage."
Tavares has scored three goals and set up five others in five career games versus the Red Wings.
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (17-12-9): Jonas Gustavsson turned in a 37-save performance in Detroit's 5-4 shootout loss to New York on Nov. 16, but the 29-year-old Swede's stellar stop on Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf still has people talking. Gustavsson used an amazing stick save to keep his former team at bay.
"You always want to be successful for an organization for a long time," Gustavsson said after making his third straight start. "I enjoyed living in Toronto, had a lot of good teammates. But I think both (sides) felt it was time to move on."
1. Red Wings GM Ken Holland told the Detroit Free Press that C Gustav Nyquist (groin) is expected to be in the lineup Monday.
2. Islanders LW Thomas Vanek has three goals in his last two games, matching his career output versus the Red Wings in 11 contests.
3. Detroit is just 1-for-19 on the power play over its last six contests.