Considering their recent dominance in the all-time series, the New York Islanders couldn't ask for a better opponent Friday afternoon as they host the Detroit Red Wings with hopes of snapping their losing streak.
New York improved to 6-0-1 in its last seven meetings with Detroit by posting a 5-4 shootout victory at home on Nov. 16. The Islanders haven't posted a triumph since, dropping four in a row - including a 3-2 decision to Winnipeg on Wednesday in the opener of their four-game homestand.
The shootout loss extended Detroit's winless streak, which reached seven games three days later with a 2-0 setback against Nashville. The Red Wings have gone on to win three of four contests since then, posting close victories over Carolina and Buffalo before trouncing Boston 6-1 at home on Wednesday. Captain Henrik Zetterberg was one of four players with a goal and an assist as Detroit recorded just its second win in 11 home games (2-2-7).
TV: 4 p.m. ET, FSN (Detroit), MSG Plus (New York)
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (12-7-7): Versatile star center Pavel Datsyuk will miss his third consecutive game with concussion-like symptoms caused by an elbow to the chin from Ottawa's Jared Cowen on Saturday. The three-time Selke Trophy winner also is expected to sit out Sunday's rematch with the Senators. Todd Bertuzzi will sit out his fourth straight contest with an upper-body injury but could play against Ottawa.
ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (8-14-3): Captain John Tavares has collected two goals and two assists during his three-game point streak and has yet to be kept off the scoresheet in consecutive contests this season. The 23-year-old recorded his eighth two-point performance of the season with a goal and an assist against Winnipeg and has notched two points in four of his last eight games.
1. New York has not lost to Detroit in regulation since November 2003.
2. Ten of the Red Wings' 18 skaters recorded at least one point Wednesday.
3. The Islanders recalled Calvin de Haan from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League and sent fellow D Matt Donovan to the Sound Tigers.