Islanders searching for a spark in key clash in Detroit

The last time the New York Islanders visited Detroit, they snapped the Red Wings’ six-game winning streak.In their return trip Thursday night, those teams will play a pivotal game in the Eastern Conference playoff chase.In a group battling for the final wild-card spot, Detroit (35-28-6, 76 points) has a three-point edge over the Islanders (29-24-15, 73).Not long ago, the Red Wings held the top wild-card berth. They lost their grip on that spot to the Tampa Bay Lightning due to a seven-game losing streak.Detroit has since won two of its past three games but it needed a last-minute comeback to beat Columbus on Tuesday night. Lucas Raymond scored his second goal of the contest with 12.6 seconds remaining in regulation off a feed from Patrick Kane to force overtime. Kane scored 48 seconds into the OT session to give the Red Wings a 4-3 victory.”Patrick Kane takes the perfect shot (on the tying goal),” Blue Jackets coach Pascal Vincent said. “From that angle, perfect shot to create the rebound. That’s an elite, elite playmaker that does great stuff at key times. His goal in overtime, I’m not sure there’s enough space for a puck to get in and he finds a way to get it in.”Losing at home to a last-place team could have been a crushing blow to a team with playoff aspirations. After surviving that scare, the Red Wings hope that victory is a springboard to the remainder of the regular season.”I liked the response from the group,” Kane said. “That’s a huge win for us. Hopefully, it gives us some momentum and hopefully we can look back at this at some point and say it was a big turning point for our season.”Raymond’s tying goal was his 24th of the season, setting a career high. He has scored seven goals in the past five games.”A ton of emotions for sure,” Raymond said. “The timing of it. Right now, we’re chasing as a team and we’ll take every point. Huge win for us. We’ll try to build off it and keep it going.”The Islanders defeated Detroit 5-3 on Feb. 29 as part of a six-game winning streak that brought them back into contention. They’ve since gone 0-4-1, including a 4-1 home loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.