January 11, 2012

Islanders Upset the Red Wings (Game Recap)

Detroit started this game without Pavel Datsyuk, out with a lower body injury and Ty Conklin started his 2nd game in a row after an impressive game in Chicago Sunday night.

The opening exchanges in this one were fast and furious as both team put a lot of puck on net. Pandolfo and Rolston had shots from the circle that Conklin kicked away before Emmerton tipped a Helm pass onto the post and Helm put the rebound wide with a gaping net. Grabner then got in behind the RedWings defence but Conklin made the save as the forward tried to score on his backhand.

The Islanders continued to create the better chances as they put 13 shots on goal in the first 10 minutes alone but they were finding Ty Conklin on top form at the start of this one.

The Islanders couldn’t force home any of this pressure though and Detroit had a great chance on a late powerplay but Nabakov made a huge save diving back in his crease to get his stick on a

This set of a spell of powerplay chances as Brad Stuart then sat 4 minutes, 2 for Unsportsmanlike Conduct and 2 for Roughing.

As he sat the Islanders took the lead a Moulson tried to centre the puck across the crease to Tavares which hit Drew Miller’s skate and went in through Conklin’s legs. This was within the first 2 minute penalty on Stuart.

Another 2 minute penalty before the end of the period on the Islander’s Andrew MacDonald levelled the men on the ice for the 2nd period but the home team had really dominated in spell’s during that 1st period, taking 17 shots and a 1-0 lead into the break.

The 2nd period started with Tavares taking a puck straight to the side of the head as Kronwall tried to dump the puck in. The Islanders forward was shook up and he went straight down the tunnel for treatment.

As the penalties from the end of the 1st period started to expire Detroit got a 41 second powerplay and Nabakov pulled off more big saves, keeping out a blast from the point and then acrobatically getting across to Franzen on the rebound to get his foot and stick up as the Swedish powerhouse looked to put it home. Tavares was back on the ice without missing a shift after his scare at the start of the period but it was Detroit starting to do most of the pressing in search of an equaliser.

However, It was Tavares who got the 2nd goal as he skated in down through the circle and fired a puck high into the top corner over Conkling glove side.

Okposo made it 3-0 with just under 9 minutes left in the 2nd as Tavares led the 2 on 1 breakout. He fed it across to Okposo to give him the easy chance of putting it back across Conklin to give the Islanders the big lead.

Grabner then made it 4-0 as a bad pass from Holmstrom as he tried to keep the puck in the Islander’s zone saw the puck go straight to .... and he sent Grabner in to bury it in the net. It was the Islander’s 3rd goal on only 4 2nd period shots.

2.36 of the 3rd saw Kindl throw a soft wrist shot towards goal which Justin Abdelkader tipped and it found its way in behind Nabakov to get Detroit on the board.

Fillpula had a great chance to get a 2nd on a powerplay shortly after but he missed an open net and then had a 2nd effort smothered by Nabakov.

With 11 minutes left Nabakov pulled off another huge save as he foiled a Dan Cleary shorthanded breakaway to keep the Islander’s with that strong 3 goal lead.

It was extended to a 4 goal lead with 6 minutes left as Moulson got his 2nd of the game. He was left alone in front of the net and Streit fired the puck straight onto his stick as he tipped it in behind Conklin.

Detroit’s defence had been awful all night with possibly the exception of Conklin who still managed to give up 5 goals. He did however make some huge saves in that 1st period especially and was left out to dry on a number of the Islander’s goals.

In contrast, the Islander’s were extremely good defensively and Nabakov had an outstanding game as well. They were clinical with the chances they got in the 2nd and 3rd period proven by 3 goals on 4 shots in the 2nd.

- Adam Yates

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