NHL Hockey

Final 1 2 3 Tot
Detroit 1 0 1 2
NY Islanders 4 2 2 8
4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET22:00 BRT, January 14, 2020
Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, New York  Attendance: 12,542

Red Wings' Howard aims to regain form vs. Islanders

Detroit Red Wings at New York Islanders

  1. The Islanders defeated the Red Wings, 4-1, in the season's first meeting on December 2, for their fifth win in the last six matchups. New York has scored at least one power-play goal in eight of its last nine games against Detroit, totaling 12 goals with the extra skater in those contests.
  2. The Isles ended a nine-game stretch without a power-play goal in Monday's 6-2 loss to the Rangers -- their first goal on the man advantage since December 21. They are 0-2-1 in their last three games when scoring on the power play after starting the season 10-1-0 in such games.
  3. The Islanders, who fired 34 shots on goal Monday for their sixth straight game with 30 or more shots -- their longest such streak since an eight-game run in 2017-18 -- are back on the ice to complete a back-to-back. Since the start of last season, the Isles are an NHL-best 15-2-1 on zero days' rest.
  4. Brock Nelson had a goal and an assist against the Rangers, giving him 16 points in 14 division games compared to six points in 15 games against the Atlantic Division. In nine career home games against the Red Wings, Nelson has seven goals and one assist yet a minus-seven rating.
  5. Detroit is coming off Sunday's 5-1 loss to Buffalo, already its 20th game of the season yielding five or more goals -- the same number of games it had all of last season. The Wings haven't had more games permitting at least five goals in a season since having 21 in 1992-93.
  6. Dylan Larkin had an assist Sunday to extend his season-high point streak to six games. With 30 points on the season, Larkin becomes the seventh skater in Detroit franchise history to start his career with five consecutive 30-point seasons.

Veteran goaltender Jimmy Howard has endured a rough season, but the Detroit Red Wings have little choice but to rely on him the remainder of the month.

Coach Jeff Blashill announced Monday that Jonathan Bernier, who had emerged as the team's No. 1 goalie, would be sidelined until at least the All-Star break with a lower-body injury.

The Red Wings play five more games before the break, beginning with a road test against the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

"Jimmy just needs to keep working," Blashill told the reporters. "He's done a good job of going out every day, kind of similar to our team, and worry about the next game. He has a game on the Island, so go out and play a great game."

Howard's statistics are unsightly -- a 2-15-1 record, a 4.10 goals-against average and an .880 save percentage. Since he became the team's regular goaltender during the 2009-10 season, Howard has never had a GAA higher than 3.07 nor a save percentage lower than .906.

Howard, 35, missed nearly four weeks with a groin injury and returned in late December. He has allowed five goals in three of his past four starts, including five on 27 shots on goal to the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday.

"Confidence plays a big part of it, for any player," Howard said to the Detroit News. "For scorers not putting the puck in the back of the net, it might be gripping the stick a bit harder. For me, it's just not thinking and playing one puck out there. Don't think, just play. When the game is going on, basically you're trying to be three places at once. Just play the one puck."

Calvin Pickard was recalled from the American Hockey League's Grand Rapids Griffins to back up Howard until Bernier returns.

"I don't think it's anything big-time with technique," Blashill said of Howard's struggles. "Certainly confidence matters in sports and life, and when it's not going your way in the goaltending position, it certainly matters. The good thing about Jimmy is, he's been around a long time and certainly this isn't easy. But his mindset is in a right spot and he said, 'I have to be better,' and he's going to work."

Detroit will try to snap a five-game road losing streak. The Islanders won the first meeting this season in Detroit, 4-1 on Dec. 2, behind two goals from Jordan Eberle and 30 saves by Semyon Varlamov.

Eberle, playing in his 700th career game, also scored on Monday. That was the lone bright spot as the Islanders were pounded by the New York Rangers, 6-2.

Eberle also assisted on the Islanders' second goal, giving him 20 points this season.

"It doesn't feel that long," Eberle said to the team's website, referring to his milestone. "It goes by quickly, so you have to try and enjoy it as much as you can. Obviously, being right here now, it's been fun. I've enjoyed winning hockey games and going to the playoffs last year. Hope to do that this year again."

The Islanders have won just four of their last 11 games (4-5-2) but remain in third place in the Metropolitan Division.

--Field Level Media

Updated January 14, 2020

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