Larkin, Copp each score twice to help Red Wings beat slumping Islanders, 6-3

DETROIT (AP) — Dylan Larkin had two goals after an eight-game absence, Andrew Copp also scored twice to break a 20-game drought and the Detroit Red Wings beat the slumping New York Islanders 6-3 on Thursday night.

Larkin returned from a lower-body injury to score his team-high 27th and 28th goals to help Detroit avenge a 5-3 home loss to the Islanders on Feb. 29.

“He means everything to this team,” said forward Christian Fischer, who had a goal and two assists. “The season he’s had up until that injury was just remarkable. He's a true No. 1 center, which is really hard to find. He drives the play. You see every guy competing a little bit harder, just having the presence of Larks back there.”

Patrick Kane also scored and Michael Rasmussen and Alex DeBrincat each added two assists. James Reimer made 33 saves in a matchup of teams battling for a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Detroit has won three of four following a seven-game losing streak.

“It was extremely challenging but we’re all in this together,” Larkin said about being sidelined. “Every season is long and things happen. We’ve got a special group and we showed it tonight. ... I knew we would come out of this (slump) and turn it around.”

Mike Reilly, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Mathew Barzal scored for New York, and Ilya Sorokin made 18 saves. The Islanders are 0-5-1 in their last six but coach Patrick Roy liked his team's effort.

“We need to start playing well and tonight I felt we did,” Roy said. “We haven’t been rewarded for what we deserved. Today, we deserved a win.”

Fischer opened the scoring on a breakaway with 8:45 left in the second period. Reilly tied it with 6:35 left in the period with a shot from just inside the blue line that trickled between Reimer's legs.

After killing off Rasmussen's penalty, the Red Wings regained the lead with four minutes left in the second when Copp shoveled in a rebound of Fischer's shot for his first goal since Jan. 27.

With 1:52 left in the period, Larkin gave Detroit a 3-1 advantage on a one-timer off DeBrincat's feed. Copp added his second at 5:12 of the third, and Kane made it 5-1 at 6:22 with his 16th.

Pageau scored a power-play goal on a rebound midway through the period, and Barzal cut it to 5-3 with 8:40 to go.

“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.”

Larkin closed the scoring with an empty-netter.

“It’s unbelievable, just the difference when everyone is slotted where they should be,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said about Larkin, who was cleared to play earlier in the day. “Quality win, great team win. A huge positive and we needed it. We took care of business at home here.”


Islanders: Host Winnipeg on Saturday.

Red Wings: At Nashville on Saturday.