DETROIT (AP) The New York Islanders found a way to hold on for a win, and even had their first empty-net goal of the season to seal the deal.

Mathew Barzal had a tiebreaking goal with 6:02 left in the third period and Brock Nelson scored twice, lifting New York to a 5-3 victory Thursday night that ended the Detroit Red Wings' six-game winning streak.

The Islanders have entered the final period with the lead 26 times this season, and have lost seven of those games.

“Everyone makes a big deal of letting leads go, but it happens when you have leads," New York coach Patrick Roy said. "A one-goal in this league is nothing. Even a two-goal lead in this league is nothing.”

Barzal sent a shot behind goaltender Alex Lyon and banked it into the net to make it 4-3. Patrick Kane had a chance to tie it later in the third, but missed an open net.

In the final minute, Pierre Engvall scored the Islanders' first empty-net goal of the season.

“It’s been tough just having to grind out those last 30 seconds and not being able to get that exclamation point on a game," Barzal said.

Nelson broke a scoreless tie midway through the first period and Casey Cizikas scored in the first period to give the Islanders a 2-0 lead.

“When the first goal is a turnover from getting your stick lifted in the slot, we’re not engaged and locked in enough,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde lamented.

Nelson's second goal broke a tie early in the third period, giving him a team-leading 27 goals, and Ilya Sorokin finished with 23 saves.

Olli Maatta matched a career high with two goals and Kane tied it at 2 on a slick wrist shot 10 seconds into the third.

Lyon stopped 22 shots for the Red Wings, who lost for the first time in two-plus weeks.

Detroit had won six straight for the first time in nearly five years, putting it in the Eastern Conference's first of two wild-card spots to increase the franchise's chances of making the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

“This is a good idea of what a playoff game is going to look like,” 35-year-old forward David Perron said. “Even in the six-game winning streak, there were some games where we weren’t fully satisfied. We need to add a little bit of consistency of the winning habits we have.”

The Islanders are 6-5-3 since firing Lane Lambert and hiring Roy to linger in the playoff race as one of four teams - joining New Jersey, Washington and Pittsburgh - within 10 points of Detroit and Tampa Bay in the wild-card standings.

New York lost a lead late in the second period of its previous game at Dallas before winning 3-2 in overtime.

“It’s a good road trip,” Roy said. “Dallas is not an easy place to play, and here same thing. They’re fast teams. They move the puck well. I think we can build on that. Now, we’re going home.

"Let’s give our fans some wins. I think they deserve it. They’ve been very patient with us.”


Islanders: Host Boston on Saturday night.

Red Wings: Host Florida on Saturday.



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