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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, November 29th (All times Eastern)
Detroit Red Wings (12-7-7) at New York Islanders (8-14-3), 4 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Red Wings will try to put a rough November stretch even further in the rearview when they visit the sliding New York Islanders in Friday's clash at Nassau Coliseum.
Detroit suffered through a seven-game losing streak, the club's longest slide since the 1990-91 campaign, from Nov. 4-19, but halted the skid with a win over Carolina on Nov. 21. That Red Wings followed that 4-3 decision against the Hurricanes with a 4-2 loss against Ottawa, but Detroit has since won two straight.
The Red Wings turned in one of their best efforts of the season in the last trip to the ice, slamming the visiting Boston Bruins by a 6-1 margin at Joe Louis Arena.
Johan Franzen collected three assists in the win, while Henrik Zetterberg was one of four players to register a goal and an assist for Detroit. The six goals scored were a season high for the club.
Jonas Gustavsson was hardly tested by the Boston, needing to make only 16 saves to improve his record this season to 6-0-1.
"Well I thought we skated. We had puck luck today, too, haven't had a whole bunch of that this year, had good special teams, good goaltending, but we skated good," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock.
Red Wings star forward Pavel Datsyuk missed his second straight game on Wednesday due to concussion-like symptoms. Datsyuk, who is leading Detroit with 12 goals and is second on the team with 23 points, will miss today's contest and Sunday's tilt in Ottawa.
Detroit forward Todd Bertuzzi also has sat out the last three games with an upper-body injury and is questionable for Friday.
The Red Wings are kicking off a brief two-game road trip today. They are 7-3-1 as the visiting team this season and will complete the swing Sunday in Ottawa.
Detroit has not fared well in the series with the Islanders in recent years, losing five straight overall in this matchup while dropping three in a row at the Coliseum. New York recorded a 5-4 shootout win when the Red Wings visited Long Island on Nov. 16.
While Detroit is beginning to awake from its November swoon, the Islanders are currently mired in a four-game losing streak (0-4-0) and have lost nine of their last 11 games overall.
New York failed to open a four-game homestand on a positive note, as it lost Wednesday against the visiting Winnipeg Jets. Mark Stuart, Andrew Ladd and Devin Setoguchi tallied a goal apiece in the second period, leading Winnipeg to the 3-2 regulation win at Nassau Coliseum.
Andrew MacDonald and John Tavares scored for the Islanders, who are sitting last in the Metropolitan Division with 19 points on an 8-14-3 record this season.
"You've got to want the puck more than the other guy out there. We need that on every shift and it's not there," said Tavares. "When we have everyone going as a team, we're tough to play against. We need more from everyone."
Kevin Poulin stopped 26 shots in the setback, losing a duel with former Islanders goaltender Al Montoya, who made 28 saves to record the win for the Jets.
Jimmy Howard expects to start in net for the Red Wings today and is 0-2-1 with a 3.55 goals against average in three career outings against the Islanders. Poulin won his only appearance against Detroit, stopping 19-of-22 shots in New York's 5-4 home win over the Red Wings on Nov. 16.
11/29 10:49:17 ET