Red Wings Face Tough Challenge Against Rival After Three Consecutive Losses…

The Detroit Red Wings have faced three consecutive defeats against teams that reached the playoffs last season, underscoring the challenging journey towards becoming a postseason contender.

Their next challenge comes in the form of the New York Islanders, who have recently achieved two consecutive victories, showcasing their strong performance history with four playoff appearances in the previous five seasons.

The Red Wings are eager to break their losing streak, while the Islanders are determined to secure their third consecutive win on Monday night, as Detroit travels to New York for a showdown between Eastern Conference rivals in Elmont, N.Y.

Both teams had a day off on Sunday after playing away games on Saturday. The Red Wings suffered a 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins, while the Islanders, led by Semyon Varlamov’s flawless 34-save performance, triumphed over the Columbus Blue Jackets with a 2-0 victory.

The Red Wings’ three-game skid serves as an early reality check for the team that started the season with a 5-1-0 record after missing the playoffs for seven consecutive seasons. Detroit has been outshot 98-86 during this losing streak.

Their recent performances included surrendering a 3-1 third-period lead in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Seattle Kraken and allowing the Winnipeg Jets and Bruins to establish 2-0 leads in the first period. Similar to the Jets, Boston responded to Detroit’s lone goal by scoring two unanswered goals in the third period on Saturday.

Joe Veleno, the Red Wings center who scored in the second period of Saturday’s game, acknowledged the significance of these games, stating, “We’ve got to beat the best of the best to be the best, but I don’t know what it was. We just didn’t come out to play today, and our effort wasn’t there.”

The Red Wings have seen their penalty kill efficiency drop, with the Bruins converting 1 of 4 power play opportunities. Over the last three games, Detroit’s opponents have gone 3-for-12 on power plays, compared to 3-for-23 over the first six games.

Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde emphasized the need for improvements in certain aspects of their game, stating, “Little areas of our game we can manage much better.”

The Islanders, featuring 19 players from last season’s Eastern Conference quarterfinal team, endured a discouraging three-game losing streak from October 20-24, during which they were outscored 15-9 by the New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres, and Colorado Avalanche.

However, they began to regain their identity on both ends of the ice with a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators, where Ilya Sorokin made 45 saves. Varlamov, in his second start of the season, secured his 39th career shutout by stopping 16 shots in the third period of Saturday’s game.

Islanders head coach Lane Lambert expressed confidence in Varlamov’s performance, saying, “We really have a ton of confidence when (Varlamov) is in net.”

Notably, two of the Islanders’ five recent goals were scored by members of the fourth line, with Matt Martin sealing Saturday’s victory. Islanders right winger Kyle Palmieri highlighted the collective effort, stating, “I think everyone from top to bottom contributed. We grinded it out.”

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