Islanders vs Red Wings by 20Legend
New York Islanders (29-18-6) has been in really good form of late before losing to Carolina Hurricanes (6-3) in their last match. They had taken points in three straight matches before that loss, including impressive performances against Edmonton Oilers (8-1) and LA Kings (5-2) at home. The Islanders was struggling from the beginning in the match against Carolina Hurricanes as they were down by 4-0 just 10 minutes into the second period. Two quick goals in the same period cut the gap into two goals and gave them some hope, but Carolina altered the favor with two quick goals just before the second period was over. That pretty much killed the game as the third period became just a formality for the host. The Islanders was able to score the only goal in order to win the last period. Despite the loss, they are 4th in the Metropolitan Division with 64 points, but with three games in hand of 3rd placed New Jersey Devils (65 pts.), and two games in hand of 2nd placed New York Rangers (70 pts.) before heading into tonight’s match.
Forward Cal Clutterbuck was not available against The Hurricanes as he dealt with illness, but is expected to be back in tonight’s lineup. The Islanders coach Jack Capuano has stated that he might mix up his offensive lineup tonight which might be a good idea when having their last game in mind. The offensive trio John Tavares – Kylie Okposo – Josh Bailey was set together during the middle of that game and responded by combining for three points.
Detroit Red Wings (29-18-9) won the huge game against Boston Bruins last night which finished 6-5 in their favor after three periods. They was really leading the game forward in terms of shots at goal, but were still trailing by the score 2-3 after the first period. The second period was really the key to their win in this game as they outshoot The Bruins 18-6, which resulted in a 3-1 win in the second period and also that keeper Tuukka Rask was pulled and replaced by Jonas Gustavsson for the guests. The nerve in the game was back with a shorthanded Bruins-equalizer just 38 seconds into the last period. However, Henrik Zetterberg made a vital goal almost exactly seven minutes later, and Detroit Red Wings was able to keep the lead throughout the rest of the game. The Red Wings is in 2nd place in the Atlantic Division, only three points behind 1st placed Florida Panthers.
The goaltender Peter Mrazek, who has started the last five games, is expected to rest in this one and Jimmy Howard to take his place. Mrazek played the whole game against Boston Bruins as the coach decided to not pull him out as the game progressed. He got rewarded with the win in the end, and Mrazek has also contributed for his team to take points in all of his five starts of late. The forward Pavel Datsyuk took a late hit while Gustav Nyquist took an injury, but finished the game against Boston Bruins. However, both players are expected to play tonight.
We should be in for another nice game of hockey tonight and I think the line of over 4.5 goals seems interesting here. The Islanders is often involved in and 5.6 average goals per match at home ice this season, while Detroit Red Wings has an average 4.7 goals away from home so far. The latest four meetings have ended over 4.5 goals, with the latest example on February 6th, when The Red Wings beat The Islanders 5-1. I think that the timing should be in favor of another game with at least five goals, as Islanders will push for their fourth straight win at home, while The Red Wings must refocus after yesterday’s game after two losses away from home lately.