Sergei Fedorov scored two goals and the Red Wings defeated the Islanders 5-2, denying New York a chance to clinch the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Islanders, who have two games left, remained two points away from the eighth playoff berth. The New York Rangers still have a chance to overtake them.
“I’m disappointed with the effort any way you look at it,” said Islanders coach Peter Laviolette.
New York will next have a chance to clinch the playoff spot Saturday against Atlanta, at home.
“The Rangers don’t matter,” said Laviolette. “We’ve got to win. It’s a must win for our organization.”
Detroit is second in the Western Conference with 108 points, one behind the Dallas Stars. The Red Wings, who have won 21 of their last 25 games (21-3-0-1) have two games left, while the Stars have one.
Alexei Yashin scored both goals for the Islanders.
“Pretty happy with the start. It was great for us to get the first goal,” said Fedorov, “because those guys are fighting for a playoff spot.”
Draper made it 2-0 later in the first period when he tipped in a pass from the corner. Fedorov then got a power-play goal on a slap shot from the top of the right circle.
“To start a game like that was huge,” said Detroit coach Dave Lewis. “We said, ‘We put the pressure on you because we’re up 1-0.’ Then we got the the second goal and the third goal.”
The teams traded power-play goals in the second period.
Schneider made it 4-1 with a slap shot from the point and Yashin got his second goal on a screened wrist shot from the inside edge of the right circle with 38 seconds remaining in the period.
Robitaille’s goal came with 3:58 left in regulation. Detroit only allowed New York two shots in the third period,
“I thought we played great in the third period,” Joseph said.
Now, the Islanders have to look to Saturday night’s game against the Thrashers.
“It’s frustrating,” said Yashin. “But we still have our destiny in front of us.”
Islanders D Kenny Jonsson missed his second consecutive game because of post-traumatic migraine. … Draper added to his career-high point total (33). … New York C Jason Wiemer played in his 600th NHL game. … Robitaille’s goal was his 10th of this season and gave Detroit a league-high 13 players with double-digit goal totals. … Fedorov has 35 goals this season and 399 for hiscareer.