NEW YORK — After a bad road loss two nights earlier, the New York Islanders were glad to return home and get back to winning.
Brock Nelson had a goal and an assist to key a three-goal second period and the Islanders beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 on Monday. It was New York’s fourth straight home win while outscoring opponents 22-7 during that stretch.
“We were pretty down on ourselves after last game,” Strome said. “We know it’s a long season and you can’t get too high or too low, but it was a strong effort and bounce back today.”
Thomas Greiss stopped 28 shots to win his fifth straight start and seventh of his last eight, improving to 16-6-2 on the season.
``It was a big win,'' Greiss said. ``We're playing the right way The team is playing great in front of me. Many blocked shots and good positioning.''
``We had too many unforced errors, too many times where we turned pucks over,'' Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. ``A couple of times in the first when we really weren't under any pressure at all. We took a penalty when we hoisted it over the glass. Things like that ended up costing us a little bit.''
Nelson got the Islanders on the scoreboard near the midpoint of the second period with his career-high 21st goal and 100th career point. Strome lifted the puck forward toward a streaking Nelson, who tipped it in the air toward the net. Howard stopped the shot but the puck deflected to Nelson, who knocked the rebound past the goalie from the right side.
Bailey doubled the lead with just over five minutes left in the period. About 1 1/2 minutes after Datsyuk was sent off for delay of game for knocking the puck over the glass, Johnny Boychuk fired the puck from the right faceoff circle. It deflected off Howard in front to Bailey, who one-timed it past the goalie for his 10th of the season. Nelson also had an assist on the play.
Zidlicky made it 3-0 just 1:06 later as he backhanded a rebound of a shot by Cal Clutterbuck past Howard for his fourth goal of the season – his first since he scored twice against New Jersey on Dec. 13.
Datsyuk spoiled Greiss' shutout with 10:29 remaining, breaking a tie with Brendan Shanahan for seventh place on the Red Wings' career goals list with his 310th. It was Datsyuk's sixth goal in five games after getting just one in his previous 15.
``It was just a matter of time,'' Blashill said of his star's scoring binge. ``He was getting lots of chances. ... He was getting a little frustrated because he wasn't scoring as much as he wanted to. My message to him was 'keep doing what you're doing.'''
Strome restored New York's three-goal lead as he took a drop pass from John Tavares and fired the puck past Howard for his seventh goal.
The Islanders finished 1 for 5 on the power play and held the Red Wings to 0 for 4.
``I thought we played three solid periods,'' Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. ``Our work ethic and compete level. ... Just watching their power play, (that's) always a problem for us. Our penalty kill challenged them well. And our best penalty killer has to be our goalie and he was.''
NOTES: Detroit began the day as one of 11 teams in the NHL with a winning road record, now at 14-9-3. This was the opener of a stretch of four straight and six of seven games away from home. ... The Red Wings, 25-5-5 when scoring first, fell to 4-14-4 when an opponent scores first. ... Detroit won the teams' first two meetings, 4-2 here on Jan. 25, and 5-1 at home on Feb. 6. ... Clutterbuck was back after missing the loss at Carolina due to an illness. ... The Islanders host NHL-best Washington on Thursday night before beginning a stretch of 12 of 14 on the road. ... Tavares has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in his last 10 games.