DETROIT — Matt Martin scored the tiebreaking goal at 3:24 of the third period for the New York Islanders in a 3-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on Saturday.
After Nick Leddy‘s shot went wide, the rebound went off Cal Clutterbuck and bounced to Martin, who scored with a wrist shot at the right post.
“[Clutterbuck] made a great play of driving to the net and making something happened,” Martin said. “I ended up with the puck in a perfect spot to score.”
Casey Cizikas and Ryan Pulock scored for New York (14-11-3), which won for the second time in its past six games (2-3-1). Thomas Greiss made 23 saves.
“We got a power-play goal when it absolutely mattered (in the second period), and our penalty kill was outstanding,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “Our leaders stepped up tonight and brought us back into the game.”
Justin Abdelkader and Niklas Kronwall scored, and Dylan Larkin had two assists for Detroit (13-13-4). Jonathan Bernier, who started consecutive games for the first time this season, made 16 saves.
The Red Wings led 2-0 after the first period but lost a multigoal lead for the fourth time in the past three games. They led the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0 and 5-3 before losing 6-5 in a shootout on Tuesday, and blew a 4-1 lead in the third period before winning 5-4 in overtime against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.
“A 2-0 lead is still early enough in the game that you will see teams give them up,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “I’m more concerned about the third-period leads, but it still isn’t something we want to keep seeing.”
Abdelkader gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead at 4:59, tapping home the rebound of Larkin’s shot. Larkin’s assist was his 100th in the NHL.
Detroit appeared to score 17 seconds later, but Trotz challenged for offside, and the call was reversed after a video review.
“I’m glad the coaches saw it was offside because it saved us a goal,” Greiss said. “I didn’t see it at all.”
Kronwall made it 2-0 at 13:53, scoring his first goal of the season on a point shot through an Abdelkader screen.
Islanders captain Anders Lee left at 16:51 with an upper-body injury after a hit from Kronwall. Lee, who had scored in each of his past four games, didn’t return until late in the second period.
“I had my head down because the puck was in my skates and he hit me with a good shoulder check,” Lee said. “That’s hockey.”
Lee’s injury wasn’t serious but fired up his teammates.
“When you are losing 2-0 and your captain is bleeding on the ice, you know you need to change the game,” Martin said. “We talked about it after the first period, and we decided we were going to give ourselves a chance to win the game.”
Cizikas cut it to 2-1 at 4:31 of the second period, tapping in a loose puck from the edge of the crease.
Pulock tied it 2-2 at 6:57 with a one-timer on a 5-on-3 power play. The power-play goal was New York’s first since Nov. 15 (21 opportunities).
“We’ve been working on the power play and we knew we needed to get one right there,” said Josh Bailey, who had the primary assist for his 400th NHL point. “This turned into a really good character win for us.”
They said it
“Our fourth line was huge for us tonight. [Casey Cizikas] gets one goal, and then [Cal Clutterbuck] sets up [Matt Martin] for the winner. Those guys are always working on both ends of the ice and they were a big part of us coming back tonight.” — Islanders forward Josh Bailey
“Every time you play one of [Islanders coach Barry Trotz’s] teams, you know they are going to be extremely structured. That’s one of their strengths and they made the most of it tonight. We couldn’t generate enough offense against them to win the game.” — Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall
Need to know
Bailey and Mathew Barzal each entered the game with one assist in his past five games, but had an assist on Pulock’s power-play goal. … Kronwall’s goal was his 81st in the NHL, moving him past Marcel Pronovost for fourth in Red Wings history among defensemen.
Islanders: Host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday (Nassau Coliseum; 7 p.m. ET; SN, TVAS, MSG+, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)
Red Wings: Host the Los Angeles Kings on Monday (7:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, FS-D+, FS-W, NHL.TV)