The Detroit Red Wings head back to Long Island to take on the New York Islanders at 4:00 p.m. EST tonight.
The Red Wings beat up on their division’s top team, the Boston Bruins, on Wednesday and will be looking to keep the energy up for tonight. With the addition of Nyquist and Helm becoming the second line center, the Red Wings’ secondary scoring, which has been an issue all season, has come alive and does not look like it is going anywhere soon.
The Islanders have lost 5 straight games since beating the Red Wing in the shootout and will be looking to end their losing streak. Kevin Poulin, who replaced Evgeni Nabokov when he went down, will most likely receive the start in net tonight, which means that the Red Wings will have to get plenty of shots and wear him down.
The Red Wings have a 46-45-6 overall record against the Islanders, but have only a 44.9% winning percentage against them on the road.
Since 2010, the Red Wings have not one a game against the Islanders and are 0-4-0; which includes a loss earlier this season in Long Island.
Jonas Gustavsson has been incredible for the Wings in net and is now 6-0-1 on the season, but Howard will get the nod in net tonight.
This game will be a big test for Jimmy Howard, if he cannot secure a win, he might spend more time on the bench this season than his last four seasons combined. (That does not count if the team implodes on him)
If Bertuzzi is able to return to the line-up, we could see Abdelkader move down and either Cleary or Samuelsson become healthy scratches.
The defense has stepped up as of late and that can be attributed to the return of Jonathan Ericsson and playing smarter in their own zone.
Prediction: With the way the Red Wings played against the Bruins and they should continue that tonight. I am going with a 2-1 victory.