The Islanders played host last night to the Detriot Red Wings at the Coliseum. Despite being the first game after the Rangers game, and the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the Islanders appeared to have an extra step for most of the game. The extra step is probably the result of having lost the last 7 games in a row and desperate for a win.
There was no scoring in the first period due to some fine goaltenting on the parts of the Islanders Wade Flaherty (9 shots) and the Red Wings Manny Legace (11 shots).
Early in the second period the Red wings got on the board first with a goal from Mathieu Dandenault. This might have caused some of the 14,368 fans to say to worry that this was going to be a tough game to watch (except for the several Red Wing fans in attendance). But the Islanders responded with two quick goals, the first by Brad Isbister followed just over a minute later by Roman Hamrlik. The Islanders had a chance to go up 3-1 when Mariusz Czerkawski broke in behind the Red Wing defense and waited until Legace was lying on the ice to shoot it up high, but Legace made an amazing save by timing Czerkawski's shot and lifting his legs to block it. As it was, the Islanders left the second period leading 2-1, playing a very good, exciting game.
In the third period, the Red Wings got a pair of goals from Sergei Federov and Nicklas Lidstrom to make it 3-2. It stayed that way until just after the 15 minute mark of the period when Mariusz Czerkawski finally broke thru to tie the score at 3. The score didn't stay that way very long, as even before Mariusz's goal was announced, the Red Wings regained the lead on Sergei Federov's second goal of the game. After that, the Red Wings played a very tight defensive game that prevented the Islanders from generating much offensively, despite having a power play for 2 minutes.
The crowd of 14,368 was was a welcome surprise. After the goal to make it 3-3, the crowd was about the loudest it's been in quite a while. If this team can start winning maybe this can be the case more frequently.
The play of the entire team, especially Wade Flaherty, Brad Isbister, Mariusz Czerkawski and Roman Hamrlik were particularly good.
The powerplay was 0-5 again, and now has one goal in 46 opportunities. This could be singled out as a big reason why the Islanders have among the worst records in the NHL so far this year.