Uniondale, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Frans Nielsen scored the lone shootout goal as the New York Islanders continued their mastery of the Detroit Red Wings with a 5-4 win at Nassau Coliseum.
Nielsen beat Jonas Gustavsson on a backhander to begin the tiebreaker. Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, whose second goal forced overtime, were both turned away by Kevin Poulin, an injury replacement, before Todd Bertuzzi missed the net with his backhand attempt.
John Tavares registered a goal and an assist for the Islanders, who notched their fifth straight win over the Red Wings.
Evgeni Nabokov's return didn't last long.
The New York goaltender left 4:12 into the game with a groin injury. Nabokov was injured when Darren Helm scored to tie the game nine seconds after Tavares lit the lamp. It was the only shot he faced.
Poulin, who had started each of the last three games, made 19 saves.
"He battles hard, he competes really hard," Tavares said about Poulin. "He's a confident guy and did a great job obviously in the shootout."
Gustavsson, making his first start since Oct. 17, stopped 37 shots for Detroit, which has dropped six straight (0-1-5).
The Islanders opened the third with the bulk of a four-minute power play with which to work. Detroit managed to kill Johan Franzen's double-minor for high- sticking, but the Islanders broke a 3-3 tie shortly after the penalty expired. Cal Clutterbuck was credited with the go-ahead goal at the 4:43 mark of the period.
Detroit was outshot 15-4 in the third, but Datsyuk managed to send the game to overtime. Playing in his 800th NHL game, the smooth Russian whipped a backhander from a sharp angle into the net off Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald with 42.5 seconds remaining and Gustavsson pulled for an extra skater.
"We never really got going in the third. I thought they skated well," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock.
Tavares opened the scoring on a redirection 4:03 into the contest, but Detroit countered as Helm beat Nabokov on a 2-on-0 break.
Datsyuk made it 2-1 when he tipped Mikael Samuelsson's wrister on a power play with 2:42 remaining in the first period.
The teams combined for three goals in a 1:20 span late in the second period.
Casey Cizikas put a backhander past Gustavsson with 2:10 remaining. That knotted the score at 2-2, and 33 seconds later, Franzen connected with a wrist shot that sailed past Poulin on the stick side to make it 3-2. Brock Nelson, however, tied things up on a power play with 50 seconds left.
The Islanders upped their record to 6-0-1 in their last seven games against Detroit ... New York improved to 8-1-2 when they score at least three goals this season ... Islanders forward Thomas Vanek missed a fourth consecutive game with an upper-body injury ... Detroit forward Daniel Alfredsson sat out a second straight game, a late scratch with a groin injury.