After struggling to put the puck in the net for the past two weeks, the Islanders exploded for three first period goals and two more in the second. It was the first time since March 9 that the Islanders haves scored four or more goals in a game.
"We wanted a big game today," Travis Hamonic said. "We have been working hard and those losses haven't been sitting easy. We are pretty aware of what is happening and there are some teams winning as well. I have said all year you just really want to keep pace with everybody and keep pushing forward."
The first period of Sunday's late afternoon contest was a shooting gallery for both teams, with the Islanders and Red Wings combine for six goals on 10 shots.
The opening two minutes of the game looked as if it was going to be a long night for the Isles. Tomas Tatar gave the Red wings a 1-0 lead 39 seconds into the game. 1:07 later Drew Miller scored to put the visitor ahead by two, but the Islanders found a way to answer back starting on the power play.
Brock Nelson cut the Detroit lead to 2-1 off a goal on the man-advantage and Ryan Strome scored at 5:38 on his own rebound to tie the game at two. Kyle Okposo scored a tip-in power play goal to give the Islanders a brief 3-2 lead before Niklas Kronwall scored 52 seconds later to even the game up once again.
It was in the first 10 minutes of the game that the two teams combined for six goals on 10 shots.
The Power play produced for the third time as the second period began. With 1:26 of carry over power play time, Frans Nielsen scored 16 seconds in to put the Isles back on top. Cal Clutterbuck made it 5-3 moments later after he scored on a shorthanded breakaway.
Detroit cut the Isles lead to one after Pavel Datsyuk scored on a power play. Jaroslav Halak, who made 21 saves in the win, and the Isles' defense held off the Red Wings the rest of the game.
The Islanders power play finished the game going 3-for-4 and the penalty kill went 2-for-3. The Isles entered the game have gone 5-for-32 on the man-advantage during the previous 11-games.
"I think our power play is pretty underrated," Kyle Okposo explained. "Everybody is yelling shoot all the time, but we have a pretty good structure on our power play and they're going to go in. We have good personnel and tonight we were able to get the bounces."
Islanders' coach Jack Capuano has mentioned how important the timeliness of the special teams is, in addition to the consistency of it. On Sunday, it seemed that it was both timely and consistent for the Isles.
"We were down and [special teams] got us back in the game," Capuano said. "Clutter had a big goal there for us too, so that is a surge. It's a change in momentum for your hockey club and for us it builds more confidence on special teams."
The Islanders needed any confidence boost they could get. Up until Sunday they had failed to secure a win at home -- the closest they came was an overtime loss to Minnesota -- and the slump allowed the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals to gain ground on them in the standings.
The Islanders have a three day break before they play their next game on Thursday -- a meeting in Columbus with the Blue Jackets.