DETROIT -- Dylan Larkin scored twice in his return from injury, and the Detroit Red Wings handed the New York Islanders their sixth consecutive loss with a 6-3 win at Little Caesars Arena on Thursday.

The center had missed eight games with a lower-body injury after leaving a 4-0 loss to the Florida Panthers on March 2. Detroit went 2-6-0 but kept hold of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

“It meant a lot to be back out there battling with the guys and watching everyone contribute,” said Larkin, the Red Wings captain. “We had everyone playing as hard as they could, blocking shots, winning battles -- it was exactly the kind of attitude we needed.”

NYI@DET: Larkin fires home a one-timer to make it 3-1

Christian Fischer had a goal and two assists, and Andrew Copp scored twice for the Red Wings (36-28-6), who have won three of four after a seven-game losing streak. James Reimer made 33 saves.

Detroit moved three points ahead of the Washington Capitals and five points ahead of the Islanders for the second wild card in the East.

“This is a huge team win -- a quality win when we really needed it,” Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said. “We took care of business at home.”

Mathew Barzal, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Mike Reilly scored for the Islanders (29-25-15), who have gone 0-5-1 during their skid. Ilya Sorokin made 18 saves.

“I know the name of the game is winning, but I will say our guys played a really good game,” New York coach Patrick Roy said. “If we played this game again, I’m pretty sure we would win it.”

NYI@DET: Fischer slides it through the five-hole on the breakaway to score first

Fischer gave Detroit a 1-0 lead at 11:15 of the second period on a breakaway. He slid the puck between Sorokin’s legs after taking a pass from Michael Rasmussen.

Reilly tied it 1-1 at 13:25 when his long wrist shot trickled through Reimer’s pads.

Copp put the Red Wings back ahead 2-1 at 16:00, ending a 20-game goal drought by tapping in a rebound after Sorokin stopped Fischer’s shot.

Larkin extended it to 3-1 at 18:08 with a one-timer off Alex DeBrincat’s pass.

“He means everything to this team,” Fischer said of Larkin. “He’s a true No. 1 center, which is really hard to find, and you could see every guy competing a little harder just having [Larkin] back out there.”

Copp pushed it to 4-1 at 5:12 of the third period with his second goal, putting in another rebound.

Patrick Kane made it 5-1 at 6:22 with a one-timer on the rush.

“That was definitely unacceptable,” Reilly said. “We came in after the second period and said, ‘Let’s go out and win the period and just see what happens.’ Obviously, we can’t go out and start the period like that.”

NYI@DET: Copp swipes in a loose puck to extend the lead

Pageau’s power-play goal cut it to 5-2 at 9:34, and Barzal made it 5-3 at 11:20 on a wrist shot through traffic that went in off Detroit defenseman Simon Edvinsson’s stick.

“It was 5-1, and our guys kept going at them,” Roy said. “We made it a 5-3 game, we pulled the goalie and we have some great chances to make it a 5-4 game. I appreciate that a lot from our guys.”

Larkin scored his second goal into an empty net at 16:15 for the 6-3 final.

“It’s unbelievable,” Lalonde said of Larkin’s impact. “It’s such a huge difference when everyone is slotted where they need to be.”

NOTES: Larkin has 207 NHL goals and is tied with Gerard Gallant for 14th in Red Wings history. … Islanders defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, playing his first game since Jan. 2 after missing 31 with a high ankle sprain, was a minus-1 with two penalty minutes in 12:19 of ice time.

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