CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 08: Brad Stuart #23 of the Detroit Red Wings controls the puck under pressure from Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on January 8, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Red Wings defeated the Blackhawks 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The Detroit Red Wings have been playing some excellent hockey of late. It has been enough for them to move into a three-way tie for the Central Division lead with St. Louis and Chicago. Now, just two points out of first place overall in the Western Conference, the Red Wings face the New York Islanders on the road tonight.
The Islanders have one of the worst records in the NHL just past the halfway point of the season. They currently sit dead last in the Eastern Conference with only 34 points. They only have more points than Anaheim and Columbus, putting them more in line for a draft pick than a playoff berth.
Detroit has been getting it done with a very simple equation: scoring goals and preventing the opposition from scoring. Detroit currently ranks third in goals scored per game at 3.2 and fifth in goals against at 2.3 per contest.