DETROIT -- Sometimes the scoreboard doesn't tell the whole story.
It certainly has the final say, but there's more to a hockey game than just the final score.
The Red Wings played a sound and spirited game Monday night in their 4-1 defeat to the New York Islanders at Little Caesars Arena, but Detroit's inability to score and a few unlucky bounces extended its winless streak to 10 games (0-8-2).
Dylan Larkin (power play) was Detroit's lone goal scorer. The former Michigan Wolverine played a dynamic game and was rewarded on the scoresheet, yet it was Larkin's dogged determination which stood out as he was buzzing all over the ice.
Jordan Eberle (two goals, one power play), Anthony Beauvillier and Anders Lee lit the lamp for the Islanders.
Jonathan Bernier (5-8-2), started in net for the Wings, making 21 saves out of the 25 shots he faced for an .840 save percentage, but in fairness to Bernier, the Isles capitalized on a few fortunate bounces which he had no chance of stopping.
Semyon Varlamov (8-3-2), played a strong game in goal for the Islanders, posting a .968 save percentage, allowing only a single goal out of the 31 shots the Red Wings fired his way.
After playing 17 games in the last 31 days, the Wings (7-20-3) will have the next four days off to practice and take a mental respite from the daily grind of a demanding NHL schedule.
Detroit's next game is Saturday night when it hosts the Pittsburgh Penguins at Little Caesars Arena.
The Isles (18-5-2) will play the second of back-to-back contests as they take on the Canadiens in Montreal on Tuesday night.
1. Dylan Larkin: It took five chances but the Wings finally broke through on the power play. Fittingly, it was Larkin who got the goal after forcing Nick Leddy into a holding penalty. Filip Zadina fired the puck at the net, Tyler Bertuzzi knocked the puck to Larkin, who backhanded it past Varlamov. It ended Varlamov's shutout streak at 76:30. Larkin, who snapped a seven-game pointless streak with an assist against the Washington Capitals on Saturday, broke a nine-game goalless skid with his seventh goal of the season. It also marked his 20th career power-play goal. In 13 games against the Islanders, Larkin has 12 points (3-9-12). Larkin finished with 25 shifts for 21:06, most ice time among forwards, had a team-high five shots, two giveaways, was 5-of-12 in face-offs and was minus-1.
Quotable: "It's tough. It was a tough stretch there. Personally I didn't feel like I was playing my best to help this team. I wasn't driving the play like I'm used to. We've had a lot of hockey here and I think for our whole team we've had a lot of games. When it's not going well, it just flew by and here are at the end of a 10-game, 11-game stretch where we haven't been producing and we haven't been winning and it just flies by. We can't keep this up. It's just Dec. 2nd tonight. We gotta find a way to get some positive energy in here and find a way to win a greasy game. We've got four huge days off. We've been playing a lot of hockey. I think we've played the most games in the league. We have to rest up, prepare for a big Saturday night game at home. We're home, so rest up and enjoy this time where we get a little bit of a breather here." - Larkin
Quotable II: "You look around the room and there's a guy right there that I don't think has taken one shift off, competes hard. (Larkin) shows he wants to win and that's the kind of leadership that we need right now." - Darren Helm
2. Tyler Bertuzzi: With Anthony Mantha out of the lineup with a lower-body injury, the scoring onus has fallen on his linemates, Larkin and Bertuzzi. Both tend to be more playmakers than shooters but Bertuzzi's 10 goals are just two behind Mantha's team-leading 12. Bertuzzi came into the game leading the Wings in assists with 13. With his helper on Larkin's goal, he extended that assist lead to 14 and passed Mantha for the team lead in points with 24. After four games without a point, Bertuzzi now has an assist in each of his last two games. He finished with 22 shifts for 19:39, had four shots, two blocked shots and was minus-1.
Quotable: "(The power play) was a little bit better tonight. We were 1-for-5 or whatever we were (1-for-6). The ones we didn't score on, we were moving the puck well, we were getting our chances. Power play's still gotta be better, we gotta improve on that and bear down." - Bertuzzi
Quotable II: "From the coaching staff perspective, I don't have to walk around here and be mad at everybody and be dark and gloomy. If we do good stuff … like tomorrow's practice, we're going to try to get better. We're going to look at some areas where we can improve. We got a week here where we don't play, which you never get in the NHL. We're going to reset a little bit, a little bit like training camp, let's pick 3-4 areas where we make sure we're better. But I don't have to walk around and act like we didn't play good just because we lost. That's not what happened. We played good. We've played pretty well the last number of games, with the exception of a terrible game against Toronto and we got no results whatsoever to show for it. The scoresheet looks terrible. I get all that. But I'm just telling you our guys have done lots of good stuff, so let's just keep building on those things." - Wings coach Jeff Blashill
Quotable III: "It's a tough one. This is the toughest year I've been a part of. We just gotta reset these next couple of games. Try not to think about that. Come to the rink a little more positive, upbeat. Try and have some fun. Not a lot of that going on right now but it is a long season. Try to have some fun and win some games." - Helm
3. Filip Zadina: When Zadina played in nine games for the Wings this past spring, he showed some of his offensive flair in spurts but did not look consistently dangerous. He took that experience with him into the offseason and worked on building his strength. So when Mantha went down and the Wings needed a winger with high-end talent, Zadina got the call. This time around, Zadina has looked far more dangerous, especially on the power play with his shot from the right circle. It was that shot that led to Larkin's goal. The assist gave Zadina a point in two straight games as he assisted on Robby Fabbri's power-play goal against the Washington Capitals this past Saturday. It is the first time that Zadina has recorded a point in back-to-back NHL games in his young career. Zadina finished with 13 shifts for 11:29, had one shot, two hits and was even.
Quotable: "I haven't even thought about what our lines are going to be for the next game. I think Zadina has played well, he's played much better than he did when he came up a year ago. I can't say he outplayed Fabbs, who ended up playing on that top line through the second part of the game. If he gets in a spot where he outplays the guys that are the left and right wingers on there and I think he can help that line better than those guys then he'd play there. But I think it's real important to put guys in spots … to not necessarily put a guy in a spot because he's a high pick, I think it's important that they earn those spots. I think he's taken baby steps, let's let him keep taking steps forward." - Blashill
Quotable II: "Well, playing offense is what everyone wants to do. Everyone wants to produce and we gotta put the puck in the net. That's fun. That's when everyone is smiling, when we got four lines that a scoring and playing in the offensive zone. I do think like I said in the previous question, it's been a tough stretch. It's been a long November, a lot of hockey, a lot of travel. We need these four days. We need to have some great practices, up tempo, high energy, high compete. Have some fun out there and get moving, get smiling and get the good feeling going coming back in for Saturday. Have a ton of energy and be ready and play in the offensive zone and each line score a goal and have fun. Darren's absolutely right on that. It's just that you only get so long to play in the NHL. Not everyone gets an opportunity to be a Detroit Red Wing, so you have to take that with pride but you should also enjoy it. And it's something that right now in a season where there's not much fun, we need to remember that and look at that and find a way to come to the rink and enjoy it." - Larkin