The last thing the struggling New York Islanders need is a trip to Detroit.
New York will try to end a season-high three-game losing streak when it faces the injury-plagued Red Wings for the only time this season.
Since improving to 7-3-2-0 with a win over Dallas on Nov. 6, the Islanders have lost six of eight to even their record at .500. They have scored just three goals during the current three-game skid and are scoreless on 21 consecutive power-play opportunities.
“We gave them those two points,” Islanders defenseman Roman Hamrlik said. “We need to take lessons from this. I don’t know what to say. Not good enough.”
Islanders coach Steve Stirling doesn’t think a shake-up is needed despite his team’s struggles.
“We were winning a couple weeks ago with the same people, so we were doing something right,” Stirling said.
Besides an anemic power play that ranks 29th in the league, several of the Islanders’ top players are slumping.
Detroit may be the last place the Islanders want to be because they have not won there in six years. They’ve lost four straight and six of their last seven at Joe Louis Arena.
New York has just two wins in its last 15 games (2-10-3) against the Red Wings.
Despite playing without several injured regulars, the Red Wings had no trouble beating Edmonton 7-1 on Wednesday.
Kris Draper scored twice, including one of Detroit’s four power-play goals, and Brett Hull added the 726th goal of his career to move within five of Marcel Dionne for third place on the NHL’s all-time list. Wayne Gretzky (894) is first and Gordie Howe (801) is second.
The news, however, wasn’t all good for the Red Wings, who lost forward Tomas Holmstrom to a separated right shoulder in the first period.
Holmstrom, who is out indefinitely, joins goalie Dominik Hasek (groin), defenseman Derian Hatcher (knee) and forwards Darren McCarty (back), Ray Whitney (groin) and Henrik Zetterberg (leg) on Detroit’s lengthy injury list.
“I don’t think we’ve met the expectations of how I think we can play,” Red Wings coach Dave Lewis said. “We’re in a situation where we can get better, even with the guys that we have. There’s no crutches, injuries are not factored into this.”
STANDINGS (through Nov. 26): Islanders - 20 points, 4th place, 10 PB, Atlantic Division. Red Wings - 26 points, 2nd place, 1 PB, Central Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Islanders - Mariusz Czerkawski, 11 goals and 17 points; Adrian Aucoin, 12 assists; Eric Godard, 53 PIM. Red Wings - Hull and Steve Yzerman, 10 goals; Nicklas Lidstrom and Mathieu Schneider, 12 assists; Hull, 21 points; Darryl Bootland, 54 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 26): Islanders - Power play: 10.8 percent (9 for 83), 29th in NHL. Penalty killing: 90.2 percent (74 for 83), 1st. Red Wings - Power play: 26.5 percent (26 for 98), 1st. Penalty killing: 82.8 percent (77 for 93), 18th.
2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Red Wings, 1-0-1.
LAST MEETING: April 3; Red Wings, 5-2. At Detroit, Sergei Fedorov, now with Anaheim, scored twice as the Red Wings continued their dominance of the Islanders.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Islanders - 2-6-2-0 on the road; Red Wings - 7-3-0-0 at home.