About the only thing that seemed to slow the Islanders last night were the two stray octopi thrown onto the ice at Nassau Coliseum.
Rob Schremp scored twice, the first multi-goal game of his NHL career, and four other Islanders chipped in to pound the Red Wings, 6-0. The Islanders have now shut out the 2008 Stanley Cup champions in their last two meetings.
"I've played against Detroit a lot in my career and that's probably one of the best games I've seen against them," said Dwayne Roloson, who earned his first shutout of the season.
Roloson didn't have to work too hard for his 16-save blanking as the Islanders dominated Detroit from start to finish in what many of them called their best 60 minutes of the year. "It was almost a perfect game," said Mark Streit, who finished with a goal and an assist.
Schremp built on his recent success with two goals, courtesy of a generous Red Wings defensive corps.
After Matt Moulson reclaimed position as the team's leading goal-scorer with his 17th of the season early in the first period, Schremp scored his first after Derek Meech coughed up the puck near the blue line in Detroit's own zone.
Holding the Red Wings to two shots in the second period, the Islanders doubled their lead. Schremp was gifted by yet another Red Wings defenseman to set up his second goal. This time the offender was Brad Stuart, who fanned on a pass and left Schremp wide open in front of the net to beat Howard with a swift move to his backhand at 8:07.
"He knows I'm a believer in him, he's made a believer out of his teammates and I think this is the first time as a professional that he's playing with this type of confidence," Islanders coach Scott Gordon said.
Schremp said even when he was a healthy scratch, he knew he was capable of this level of production.
"Oh, absolutely," Schremp said. "I know what I'm capable of."
Streit unleashed two sharp slap shots on Osgood soon after the swap, and scored on his third attempt - a wrist shot on a power play that gave the Islanders a 4-0 lead at 16:19 of the second.
Streit's goal elicited the first octopus hurled to the ice, and another followed during play shortly afterward. It's common for Detroit fans to hurl octopi after a hat trick.
Kyle Okposo extended his goal streak to four games as he piled on for the Islanders' fifth goal at 9:22 in the third period and defenseman Bruno Gervais scored his first of the season on a slap shot at 16:52. The six goals matched a season high for the Islanders.
With the win, the Islanders improved to 20-19-8.
And yes, Gordon wants them to start thinking playoffs.
"I would like to believe all our players look at the standings," Gordon said. "In the past couple weeks we've made a habit of posting them."