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Five Takeaways: Another Slow Start Sinks Red Wings On Island

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Dylan Larkin, Detroit Red Wings player
Captain Dylan Larkin said the Detroit Red WIngs didn't start playing against the New York Isanders until the third period.

The Detroit Red Wings seldom win on the road. Of late, the New York Islanders simply aren’t losing at home. This volatile combination ended up producing a predictable outcome, as the Wings lost 5-2 to the Islanders on Thursday at UBS Arena.

Detroit is 2-5 over the past seven road contests. Meanwhile, the Islanders are winners of six in a row on home ice and are 7-1-1 overall in their last nine games.

“We knew coming into this building they’ve played much better here in the last stretch,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said.

Five takeaways from Detroit’s 22nd loss in 32 road games this season.

Red Wings Down 1-0 In Blink Of An Eye

Detroit’s penchant for slow starts on the road found a new low on Thursday. The Wings won the opening faceoff. But Isles captain Anders Lee overpowered Red Wings defenseman Filip Hronek and fed a pass to Anthony Beauvillier for a goal nine seconds into the game.

“Tonight they dropped the puck and they go down and score,” Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin said. “I don’t have much to say.

“We just weren’t ready to play and we have to show up ready to play, especially against teams like this.”

By the the end of the first period, the Islanders were outshooting the Wings 13-5 and leading 2-0.

“It’s not the team you want to get down 2-0 to,” Blashill noted. “I will say that for sure.”

No Excuses

Despite the early deficit, Larkin felt there was no reason why the Wings needed to keep digging their hole deeper.

“No, we got 59 more minutes to go, let’s play hockey,” Larkin said. “It was 1-0. We got to start playing our game. Can’t worry about what’s in the past. We just have to play.

“It’s a very frustrating start, it’s not what we were looking for at all, but we had to play. We didn’t really show up until the third period tonight.”

Not The Night For Greiss

Speaking of comebacks, Thursday was the return of Red Wings goalie Thomas Greiss to the Island. He played 193 games for the Islanders prior to signing as a free agent with Detroit in 2020.

A happy homecoming it was not. Besides allowing a goal in the first shot of the game, Greiss also didn’t finish. It was the fifth time in his last six appearances that Griess didn’t play the full game. He’s showing an .824 save percentage for March.

However, this time, his departure from the game had nothing to do with the play of Greiss. The Detroit goalie was injured in a collision with Islanders forward Oliver Wahlstrom late in the second period and gave way to Alex Nedeljkovic to start the third period.

“He was injured,” was all Blashill would say about Greiss. “He had to come out of the game.

“You saw what happened and he had to come out of the game.”

Nedeljkovic was also beaten on the first shot he faced just 19 seconds into the third period.

Five-on-Three Failure

The Red Wings were presented with a five-on-three power play for 1:40 late in the first period. To say they enjoyed a five-on-three would be a misnomer. Detroit failed to score despite the lengthy two-man advantage.

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“You’re down 2-0 and you get a five-on-three, you gotta find a way to score,” Blashill said. “That’s a big moment.”

Pearson Debuts

Center Chase Person skated 7:40 in his first NHL game. The Red Wings rookie fired one shot, delivered three hits and won his only faceoff. He was also +1. Their line potted Detroit’s second goal when Sam Gagner scored.

Pearson joined Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider as Red Wings who’ve made their NHL debuts this season.

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