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Red Wings close out road trip against Islanders

The Detroit Red Wings will try to close a four-game road trip on a positive note when they visit the lowly New York Islanders for tonight's battle at Nassau Coliseum.

The Red Wings are 2-1 on the swing so far and are coming off Sunday's overtime victory against the rival Chicago Blackhawks. Detroit, Chicago and the St. Louis Blues enter this evening tied for first place in the Central Division and all three clubs are in action tonight.

Pavel Datsyuk was the star for Detroit on Sunday, as he netted a shorthanded game-winner with 1:52 left in OT to help lift the Red Wings to a 3-2 victory at the United Center.

On the game-winner, Corey Crawford made two initial saves on shots by Datsyuk in the slot and Jonathan Ericsson's backhanded attempt on the rebound, but was unable to cover the puck with his glove. Then, from an extremely tight angle right of the net, Datsyuk whiffed on his first attempt, but composed himself and lifted his next shot over the pads of Crawford, who was down in the crease.

Valtteri Filppula and Danny Cleary also tallied for Detroit, while backup goaltender Ty Conklin made 29 saves -- including a Jimmy Hayes penalty shot in the third period -- for the win.

"This is a big step for Conks (Conklin) here personally, for himself," Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock said.

Jimmy Howard, a native of upstate New York, is expected to be back between the pipes tonight for the Red Wings.

The Red Wings, who will play their next three games in the Motor City, are just 11-12-0 as the guest this year compared to a stellar 15-2-1 record at home.

Meanwhile, the Islanders, who are last in the Eastern Conference, are kicking off a four-game homestand tonight after going 1-2 on a recent road trip. New York began the swing with a shootout win at Carolina, but then suffered losses in Anaheim and Phoenix.

Shane Doan recorded his first career hat trick to help the Coyotes rout the Isles by a 5-1 score on Saturday. Frans Nielsen scored the lone goal for the Islanders, while Evgeni Nabokov allowed all five goals on 25 shots.

"It's tough on Nabby. He's been playing really well," Islanders defenseman Mark Streit said. "We had some major breakdowns defensively."

The Isles are 8-9-3 as the host this year and will also welcome Philadelphia, Buffalo and Nashville during this residency.

New York has won three straight and four of its last five meetings against the Red Wings, who are 7-2 with a pair of ties in their last 11 trips to Long Island.