DETROIT — Nick Leddy still is "good buddies" with his former teammates, and the Red Wings defenseman expects the Islanders to turn things around.
"That’s a special group and they know how to win," Leddy said before the Red Wings pushed the Islanders’ losing streak to 10 with a 4-3 overtime win on Saturday night. "The COVID stretch and playing on the road for so long to start the season, those are not easy experiences. I think, for them, it will only make this team stronger."
Leddy logged 21:48 with one shot while facing the Islanders for the first time since being traded to Detroit on July 16 for Richard Panik and a second-round pick. He was on the ice in the first period for Cal Clutterbuck’s shorthanded goal for the Islanders and defenseman Filip Hronek’s equalizer.
Just to emphasize that Leddy now is the enemy, Kyle Palmieri sent him hard into the endboard on the game’s first shift. Leddy retreated slowly to the bench but did not miss a shift.
Leddy, who had dinner with some of his former teammates on Friday night, was an integral part of the Islanders for seven seasons, including their back-to-back runs to the NHL semifinals the last two seasons. President and general manager Lou Lamoriello moved the final season of Leddy’s seven-year, $38.5 million deal to alleviate the Islanders’ salary-cap crunch, and one of their main deficiencies this season has been the lack of a puck-moving defenseman like Leddy.
With Casey Cizikas remaining the last player in COVID-19 protocol, Austin Czarnik was recalled from AHL Bridgeport. Andy Andreoff and Grant Hutton were reassigned to Bridgeport . . . Noah Dobson, logging a career-high 24:18, had four of the Islanders’ 17 blocked shots.