Rob Schremp scored two goals on the night, while Dwayne Roloson posted a shutout as the Islanders defeated the defending Western Conference Champion Detroit Red Wings by a score of 6-0 in front of 12,254 fans at the Nassau Coliseum.
The Islanders probably played their most perfect game Tuesday night, limiting the Red Wings to just 16 shots on the night, all of which Roloson turned aside for his first shutout of the season.
"I think we played fundamentally and structurally the best game we played all year," Roloson said. "We stayed to our game plan and we did the things to do to win hockey games."
For Roloson who spent many years in the Western Conference and had seen the Red Wings often throughout the year, Tuesday night was a big confidence booster for his team.
"It's one of the best games I've ever seen a team play against Detroit," Roloson added. "Just by playing in the West for 11-12 years, I saw these guys a lot - its a great confidence booster."
Matt Moulson made the first dent on the scoreboard pretty quickly - just 1:11 into the opening period - to give the Islanders an early one-goal lead over Detroit.
The play developed as Mark Streit forechecked hard on a Frans Nielsen dump-in to the Detroit end-boards. As Streit was checked into the glass, he alertly fed the puck to a streaking Moulson who parked himself in front of the Detroit crease. Moulson then quickly one-timed Streit's pass just by the right leg of Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard for his team-leading 17th goal of the season and a 1-0 Islanders lead.
"It was kind of a broken play," Streit said. "I saw nobody going to the puck and I decided to go. He went to the front of the net, and they probably werent ready for that pass."
Rob Schremp upped the Islanders lead to two goals with 4:17 left in the first period with his fourth goal of the season. Bruno Gervais blocked a Detroit clearing attempt, which allowed the Islanders to further pressure Howard and the Red Wings. Gervais then skated deeper into the Detroit zone and dished the puck off to a streaking Schremp, who one-timed the pass behind a sliding Howard to give the Islanders a 2-0 lead.
Schremp tallied his second goal of the night 8:07 into the second period to give the Islanders a 3-0 lead. Schremp found himself to be in the right place at the right time and took advantage of a Brad Stuart giveaway deep in the Detroit zone.
Stuart tried to pass the puck to his defense partner Derek Meech, but flubbed the pass, leaving Schremp all alone with Howard. The crafty Islanders center faked out the Detroit netminder, drawing him down to the ice, before sliding the puck by Howard's left pad for the three-goal lead.
With his two goals, Schremp now has points in five out of last six games (four goals, four assists).
Schremp has now found his stride on the ice with the Islanders after being a healthy scratch for 22 games in the beginning of the year. However, he knew he was capable of producing the numbers he has been putting up.
"I had confidence in my game," Schremp said. "It's a matter of getting in. I know what I'm capable of and it's just a matter of getting confidence and building the trust and respect of the guys on the team and the coaches to get on the ice and do this stuff."
That goal would be enough for Detroit Head Coach Mike Babcock, as he pulled Howard in favor of former Islander Chris Osgood.
Mark Streit padded the Islanders lead to four goals with 3:41 left in the second period on the power play. With Kirk Maltby in the penalty box serving a slashing minor, Streit took a Josh Bailey pass from the point and skated in on Osgood. The Islanders defensemen drew Osgood out of the net, and fired a wrist shot past the Detroit netminder for a 4-0 Islanders lead.
Kyle Okposo padded the Islanders lead to five goals midway through the third period with his 10th goal of the season. Okposo took a pass from Freddy Meyer at the blueline in the Detroit zone, and with John Tavares providing a screen in front of Osgood, ripped a wrist shot past the Detroit netminder for a 5-0 Islanders lead.
Bailey received a secondary assist on Okposo's marker, and along with his helper on Streits goal, he extended his point streak to seven games (four goals, eight assists, 12 points).
Bruno Gervais added an extra tally for good measure with 3:08 left in the third period. Gervais blasted a slapshot through a screen past Osgood for his first goal of the season and his first since March 25, 2009.
Slapshots: Islanders outshot Detroit, 31-16...The 16 shots is the fewest that Detroit has recorded in a game this season so far...Mark Streit led all Islanders with 25:48 of ice time after two periods...John Tavares led all Islanders with 5 shots on goal...Brendan Witt (calf), Jeff Tambellini (healthy), Nate Thompson (healthy) and Martin Biron (healthy) were the Islanders scratches...This was the only meeting between both teams this season...Islanders now hold an all-time record of 43-44-8 against Detroit.
Two Straight Zeroes: Tuesday's shutout was the second straight shutout the Islanders recorded against Detroit. Last season, Joey MacDonald and the Islanders recorded a 2-0 shutout victory at the Joe Louis Arena. MacDonald registered 42 saves that night.
Bergies Back: After missing the last 16 games to a rib injury, Sean Bergenheim made his return to the lineup against the Red Wings. He flanked the fourth line with Doug Weight and Richard Park. To make room for Bergenheims return, the Islanders have placed Brendan Witt on injured reserve. Bergenheim recorded 12:58 of ice time with one shot.
Fallen Zebra: Linesman Tony Sericolo had to leave the game five minutes into the first period due to an injury, leaving his partner Pierre Champoux to man the lines. However, Sericolo returned during a television timeout sporting a bandage on his left hand and wrist.