DETROIT — Matt Martin scored a tiebreaking goal with 16:36 remaining in the third period, capping an impressive comeback for the New York Islanders in a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night.
The Islanders trailed 2-0 after the first period but rallied with goals by Casey Cizikas, Ryan Pulock and Martin.
Justin Abdelkader and Niklas Kronwall scored for Detroit.
The game winner came when Luke Witkowski of the Red Wings wasn’t able to handle the puck cleanly when it bounced off the boards behind the net. It ended up on Martin’s stick in front of the goal, and he capitalized for his fourth goal of the season.
Detroit opened the scoring when Larkin split two New York players and forced a save by goalie Thomas Greiss. Abdelkader scored on the rebound.
Seconds later, the Red Wings had a goal called back for offside, but they eventually went up 2-0 on Kronwall’s tally. The Islanders gave the 37-year-old defenceman plenty of time to skate to the middle and shoot past a screened Greiss from just inside the blue line. It was his first goal of the season.
Tempers flared with 3:59 left in the period after Kronwall caught Anders Lee with a high, hard hit. There was no penalty assessed, and Lee was able to return.
Moments later, Josh Bailey of the Islanders took Kronwall down in the corner. Then Bailey and Larkin had a scrap that earned fighting majors for both.
The Islanders quickly rallied to tie it in the second period. After Cizikas made it 2-1, Pulock scored on a slap shot from the right circle while the Islanders had a two-man advantage.
Later that period, there was another fight, this one between Abdelkader and Johnny Boychuk.
NOTES: Lee’s four-game goal streak was snapped. … Bailey earned an assist on the goal by Pulock for his 400th career point. … Kronwall’s 81st career goal moved him past Marcel Pronovost for fourth on Detroit’s career list among defencemen.
Islanders: Host Pittsburgh on Monday night.
Red Wings: Host Los Angeles on Monday night.
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Noah Trister, The Associated Press