The Red Wings fall to the New York Islanders in an entertaining and hard fought game

The Detroit Red Wings' six-game win streak came to an end on Thursday night thanks to the New York Islanders.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Amid a six-game win streak, the Detroit Red Wings looked to keep the hype train rolling on Thursday night against a team on the heels of Detroit in the wild card race in the New York Islanders. The Red Wings boast a 16-4-2 record since January 1st, which is second best only to Florida, who comes to Detroit on Saturday afternoon, in the league over that span.

Detroit's win streak is due to many factors, but I'd like to highlight three. Heading into Thursday's contest, Alex DeBrincat recorded four goals over his past four games. Before that, he'd only scored four over his past 25 contests. DeBrincat breaking out of a lengthy slump has helped stabilize Detroit's top-six group of forwards.

The Red Wings have gotten tremendous goaltending since January 1st as well. Alex Lyon has excelled in the workhorse role, while James Reimer has been very efficient, playing sparingly in his backup role. Reimer has been good enough to spell Lyon once a week or so, and that's all you can ask from the team's No. 3 netminder.

The Detroit Red Wings have also gotten timely depth scoring throughout 2024. Head coach Derek Lalonde isn't afraid to roll four lines these days with the production he's gained from Daniel Sprong, Robby Fabbri, and Christian Fischer at even strength.

The Detroit Red Wings six-game win streak comes to an end thanks to the New York Islanders.

Some may blame the new waste removal patch, but nevertheless, things didn't begin or end so well on Thursday night against Patrick Roy's Islanders. New York got first-period goals from Brock Nelson, who deposited a beautiful unassisted goal as a penalty to Ben Chiarot expired. Chiarot fumbled the puck just inside Detroit's blue line; in fairness, he never really had control before Nelson found it and took off toward the Detroit goal. The second and final goal of the period came on a nifty Casey Cizikas redirect. The goal would be upheld upon video review as the league wanted to make sure Cizikas' stick remained below the crossbar, and it did. The Red Wings had a late push in the first period while on the power play, but the all-world Ilya Sorokin had a better goal-line stand. Robby Fabbri had the best opportunity during the mad scramble in front, and I am still trying to figure out how the Islanders netminder held his ground.

As the two teams skated early in the second period, it seemed like the Detroit Red Wings finally began gaining momentum. Olli Maatta eventually broke through for Detroit with a hard low shot from the left circle. The play came after Joe Veleno stole the puck on the right side on a Sorokin pass attempt. Veleno got the puck down low to David Perron, who found Maatta creeping in from the point and put it on his stick. It's Maatta's third goal of the season. You don't expect much offense from Maatta, who entered the night leading the Red Wings with a plus-16 rating. That's an impressive number, especially considering that he's paired with Shayne Gostisbehere, who is a minus-15.

The third period started with a bang. Patrick Kane broke in with Alex DeBrincat on a 2-on-1 and buried a beautiful shot blocker side just 10 seconds into the frame. Dylan Larkin did an excellent job absorbing a hit near the benches and shoveling a pass with one hand on his stick to help spring Kane. Kane is now enjoying a ten-game point streak. The Islanders would strike a few minutes later thanks to Brock Nelson's second of the night; this one came on the power play. After a ton of good lateral puck movement, Nelson whistled a shot from the right circle past Alex Lyon. The Red Wings penalty killers found themselves chasing and couldn't get that critical clear and change.

The Detroit Red Wings, like they often do, answered back. Maatta scored his second of the night off a beautiful slap pass from Gostisbehere, who held the puck in at the blue line moments before. The Red Wings had a lengthy offensive zone shift leading up to the goal. The Islanders were able to push back themselves with a nice yet odd goal from Mat Barzal. Barzal banked it in off Lyon following a mad scramble in front from an impossible angle. As the puck landed in the crease, Lyon, not knowing where the puck was, knocked it into his own goal with his left skate. New York would add an empty net marker thanks to Pierre Engvall, making it 5-3 Islanders, ending Detroit's six-game win streak.

New York continues to fight for their playoff lives. Although the Red Wings need to keep pace, that group of New Jersey, Washington, Pittsburgh, and Islanders are really chasing the Philadelphia Flyers for the third spot in the Metropolitan division. The Flyers currently sit with 69 points, a mere five points ahead of the Devils and seven ahead of the Islanders, who sit seventh in the division heading into Thursday's slate of games.

Next up for the Red Wings is a date with the Florida Panthers at home on Saturday afternoon.