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Reeling Islanders set to host Red Wings

by John Kreiser

RED WINGS (12-7-7) at ISLANDERS (8-14-3)


Last 10: Detroit 3-2-5; New York 2-8-0

Season series: The Detroit Red Wings are making their second visit to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in less than two weeks. On Nov. 16, the New York Islanders beat them 5-4 in a shootout.

Big story: The Islanders are still looking for their first victory since the shootout win against the Red Wings 13 days ago. They've dropped four in a row, including a 3-2 home loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday. The Red Wings snapped out of an offensive funk on Wednesday when they buried the Boston Bruins 6-1 at Joe Louis Arena.

Team Scope:

Red Wings: Detroit has been looking for secondary scoring all season, so getting two goals and three assists from the fourth line of Tomas Tatar, Drew Miller and Joakim Andersson against Boston brought a smile to the face of coach Mike Babcock.

"We work pretty hard most nights. Today we were rewarded," Babcock said. "We had puck luck and got some energy and got going. I think that was the biggest thing. We've played lots of good games this year; we haven't won lots of games. That's the fact, because we never score. … I thought we built off what we've been building and it was a positive for the guys."

Islanders: New York's struggles on the road carried over into its first game after an 0-3-0 trip. They gave up three second-period goals to Winnipeg, scored twice and came up one short. The 3-2 loss was the Islanders' fourth in a row and kept them in last place in the Metropolitan Division with 19 points.

"It's just not good enough," said captain John Tavares, whose goal with 5:59 left in regulation cut the deficit to one. "Our intensity and the little things … taking hits to make plays, all the little things that make a big difference in a game over a long run, we're just not doing. We're not creating our breaks or our opportunities. It seems like we're just waiting for them to happen, and they're not gonna come until the consistent effort for each and every shift is there."

Who's hot: Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg had a goal and an assist against Boston, giving him seven points in his past four games. … Tavares has goals in back-to-back games and has three goals and six points in his past five games.

Injury report: Detroit has played the past two games without star center Pavel Datsyuk (head) and forward Todd Bertuzzi (shoulder). Defenseman Danny DeKeyser (shoulder) is on the long-term injured reserve list. … The Islanders are missing regular defensemen Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion) and Brian Strait (upper body), as well as goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, who went down with a groin injury in the previous game against Detroit and won't be back until next month.

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