The Upshot: NY Islanders drop sixth straight; lose crucial game 6-3 to Red Wings

New York Islanders v Detroit Red Wings
New York Islanders v Detroit Red Wings / Nic Antaya/GettyImages
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HOW IT HAPPENED

Captain Dylan Larkin returned to the lineup after missing eight games and scored twice as the Detroit Red Wings defeated the New York Islanders 6-3 at Little Caesars Arena on Thursday night to move five points up on the Isles for the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. Christian Fischer had a goal and two assists, Andrew Copp scored twice for the Red Wings (36-28-6), and James Reimer made 34 saves. Mike Reilly, JG Pageau and Mathew Barzal each had a goal for the Islanders (29-25-15), who have lost six straight (0-5-1) after winning six straight. Ilya Sorokin made 19 saves in the loss.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

At 5-1, this could have gotten really ugly, but the team did push and make things a bit interesting in the third period. After Pageau scored on the power-play, Barzal had a shot deflected in off a Red Wings defender to make it a two-goal game. Then, with the goaltender pulled, Bo Horvat had his second glorious chance of the night but failed to make it a one-goal game with more than four minutes remaining in regulation.

“There aren’t any quitters on this team," Pageau said. "We’re going to embrace the challenge and get ready to start a winning streak.”

WHAT WENT WRONG

The Islanders continue to give up goals in bunches. After Reilly's goal tied it at 1-1, the Red Wings took a one-goal lead on Andrew Copp's first goal in 20-games. However, the Isles couldn't get to the end of the period only trailing by one and allowed a second goal less than two minutes later when Larkin came off the bench and one-timed a feed from Alex DeBrincat to put them down two.

The Isles played a pretty even game and even had the edge at times, but the mistakes added up and Detroit was able to capitalize each time. "When it was a 1-1 game, and we had that power play and didn't score, and the [Red Wings] scored right after, that was the key one of the key moments in the game," Patrick Roy said after the game.

STATS OF THE GAME

The Islanders allowed three more second period goals and have now been outscored 96-70 on the season during the middle period. The 96 goals allowed are most in the NHL. Per statistician Eric Hornick, tonight marked the first time since October 1995 that the Islanders allowed three goals in the second period in three consecutive road games.

SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME

A dejected Islanders team on the bench when trailing by three goals in the third period. They gave up another one, this time to Patrick Kane, moments later.

WHAT'S NEXT

The Islanders will seek an end to their six game losing streak (0-5-1) when they head home for back-to-back games this weekend against the Winnipeg Jets and New Jersey Devils. Face-off from UBS Arena is at 1:00 PM EST on Saturday afternoon.