Islanders suffer sixth-straight loss to Red Wings as playoff hopes damaged even further

In a game between two teams that have tried their best to hand a playoff spot to one another, it took the Red Wings 36 minutes to grab hold of the proceedings.

But once they did, Detroit parlayed that momentum into a 6-3 rout over the Islanders at Little Caesars Arena, extending the Isles’ losing streak to six with a defeat that will hurt more than all the others.

Going into Thursday, the Islanders could have all but erased the damage from their last five games with a win.

Christian Fischer scores a third-period goal on Ilya Sorokin during the Islanders’ 6-3 loss to the Red Wings. NHLI via Getty Images

Coming out of it, they are five points back of a playoff spot with 13 games left in their season, with not just the Red Wings ahead of them but also the Capitals — a deficit that is far from insurmountable in theory, but one that looks like a massive climb in practice.

After an Islanders power play followed Mike Reilly’s game-tying goal at 13:25 of the second, it appeared that the game might be shifting in favor of the visitors.

But not only did the Islanders fail to convert for the third time of the evening at five-on-four, they fumbled away the go-ahead goal themselves shortly after the power play expired as Ilya Sorokin left Christian Fischer’s rebound out for Andrew Copp, who swept it in unimpeded for a 2-1 Detroit lead.

Just 2:08 later, at the end of a long shift in which the Islanders could not get out of their zone, Dylan Larkin strolled into the slot unguarded to bang in a one-timer off Alex DeBrincat’s feed and make it 3-1, swaying the game’s momentum fully in the Red Wings’ favor.

Ilya Sorokin, taking his helmet off during a stoppage, allowed six goals in the Islanders’ loss. NHLI via Getty Images

Can’t happen. Keeps happening.

And instead of showing some resilience in the third period, the Islanders’ desperation looked like it was on life support.

Patrick Kane (left) scores a goal on Ilya Sorokin during the Islanders’ loss. NHLI via Getty Images

Just over five minutes into the third period, Copp made it 4-1, finishing a three-on-two break on which Islander forwards did not appear interested in backchecking.

Shortly thereafter, Patrick Kane easily finished off Alex DeBrincat’s feed to make it 5-1.

Can’t happen. Happened again.

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