-Dwayne Roloson will get the start tonight against the Western Conference-leading Red Wings. It was Roloson last season that delivered a 16-save shutout against Detroit for the team's resounding 6-0 win January 12 at Nassau Coliseum.
"I just thought we played smart. We didn't have the turnovers, at our blue line or at their blue line, which fuels their offense--they're a great transition team," Roloson said.
And even without Pavel Datsyuk (wrist) and Danny Cleary (ankle) they are still a very dangerous team.
"They're a great club top to bottom."
-Defenseman Jack Hillen will not play tonight. Hillen and his wife Caitlin just welcomed the birth of their first child, a baby boy named Finn (6 pounds 9 ounces) yesterday at 12:13 p.m. Both mom and baby are healthy. Hillen is expected to join the team in Calgary. Congrats to the Hillen family's newest addition!
-Bridgeport call-up Dylan Reese will replace Hillen in the lineup until further notice. Fellow call-up Jesse Joensuu is also expected to play tonight. Given Detroit's lack of toughness, enforcer Trevor Gillies will likely sit.
-Defenseman Radek Martinek (left wrist) did not make the trip with the team. The Islanders placed him on injured reserve this morning, retroactive to December 22.
-Matt Martin will have 25 friends and family in attendance tonight. Joe Louis Arena is a mere five minutes from where he grew up, just across the border in Windsor, Ontario (Martin is not a Red Wings fan, however. When his two favorite players--Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic --went to Colorado, he became an Avalanche backer).
-Two days following his first NHL hat trick, Detroit winger Patrick Eaves is out with an upper-body injury. Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock quipped that the injury must've been sustained from Eaves raising his hands in the air so much in celebration Wednesday.
-Jimmy Howard gets the start in net for the Red Wings.
-Former Islander Chris Osgood, who recorded his 400th career win Wednesday, said some of his favorite memories were with the Islanders, where he played from 2001-2003.
"When people ask about the Islanders that year, I always say that was one of my favorite years. I was here for 10 [years] and we had won so much that we didn't appreciate winning as much as we should have. When I went to Long Island, we had a great group of guys that really enjoyed winning. We had a great year, making the playoffs for the first time in a while and had an unbelievable series against Toronto. It's one of those years that when you look back on it, you'll always appreciate because we had so much fun."
Mike Babcock on the Islanders recent success against Detroit:
"They've beaten us like a rented mule."