The Red Wings started out shaky against the New York Islanders and their own former goalie Chris Osgood, but a goalie switch of their own and an enlivened offense led them to come back for a 2-2 tie on Long Island.
Curtis Joseph certainly did not get the start he wanted. He gave up two goals on eleven shots in the first period. The first was tapped in by Radek Martinek on a setup by Alexei Yashin, less than a minute into the game. The second came near the end of the period, as Jason Blake took a pass from Adrian Aucoin and slid it past Joseph.
The Red Wings’ offense didn’t get the start they wanted either. The Islanders outshot them 11-9 in the first period, and former Wings goalie Chris Osgood had all the shots figured out.
Dave Lewis decided to take a chance and replace Joseph with Manny Legace to start the second period. Legace looked as sharp as he did before his knee injury, just as if he’d missed no time at all, and the rest of the team began to respond. The defense tightened up, allowing only six shots on net in the second period, and the offense started making shots with better chances of going into the net.
Igor Larionov put the Wings on the board midway through the second. Brendan Shanahan made a centering pass from behind the goal line, and Larionov put it in high over Osgood’s shoulder.
The Detroit offense continued to press, but the Islanders regrouped and tried to come back. Legace continued to play well, making saves and controlling the rebounds.
Luc Robitaille broke his goal drought with the tying goal early in the third. Sergei Fedorov made a tight pass to Darren McCarty, who went to the net with the puck. He was muscled away by an Islanders defenseman, but Luc Robitaille came right behind and banged the puck in over Osgood’s arm.
The Islanders started overtime with 37 seconds of four-on-three play carried over from a tripping call against Chris Chelios late in the third, but their power play, which had looked anemic all game, was unable to capitalize. Both teams had good chances in the four-on-four, but both goalies held steady, and the game ended with a 2-2 tie.
The final count of shots on net was 36-32 in favor of Detroit. Legace stopped 21 shots in the second and third periods. Osgood made 34 saves in the game.
The Red Wings’ next game will be at home against the Dallas Stars.
The Islanders have now had 29 consecutive successful penalty kills… Sergei Fedorov’s assist on Luc Robitaille’s goal was his 900th career point.