DETROIT — With no goals in his first 14 games this season, Jordan Eberle was understandably frustrated.
“Ever since the ankle injury, I’ve come back and had a ton of chances,” he said. “Sometimes they don’t go in.”
Eberle finally ended that drought with two goals Monday night, and Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves to lift the Islanders over Detroit 4-1, extending the Red Wings’ winless streak to 10 games.
“It’s funny how it works,” Eberle said. “You don’t score for a while and then you score two.”
Anders Lee and Anthony Beauvillier also scored for the Islanders, who were outshot 31-25 but never trailed in the game. Dylan Larkin had the only goal for Detroit.
The Islanders have alternated starting goalies for its first 25 games this season, a franchise record. Monday was Varlamov’s turn, although he actually played in the team’s previous game — a 2-0 win over Columbus on Saturday — after starter Thomas Greiss had to exit in the first period. The Islanders nearly pulled off a second straight shutout against the struggling Red Wings.
“We got to clean up a few things, but they’re playing desperate,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “They threw a lot of pucks — they had 56 attempts, I think. I thought we did a pretty good job.”
The Islanders scored twice in the first period. Lee beat goalie Jonathan Bernier from point-blank range off a pass from Mathew Barzal. Then the Islanders scored again immediately after killing off a penalty. Beauvillier came out of the penalty box, took a pass from Josh Bailey and skated in on a breakaway to make it 2-0.
Larkin’s power-play goal made it 2-1 in the second, but the Islanders also struck with the man advantage in that period. The Islanders actually had a two-man advantage for 88 seconds, and immediately after the first penalty expired, the puck bounced to Eberle to the right of the net. Bernier was too late lunging over, and the Islanders had a two-goal lead again.
“The 5-on-3 guys … they did a great job — great sticks, broke up plays,” Larkin said. “Just a bad bounce.”
Eberle’s second goal came with 6:36 left in the third. He knocked the puck in during a goalmouth scramble, and although an official initially waived off the goal, it was eventually allowed to stand.
“I think Jordan’s played pretty well. I’ve been saying, ‘Just stay with it, get yourself closer to the net,’” Trotz said. “I think today both those goals, he was probably within a few feet of the net.”
Detroit is 0-8-2 during this winless stretch, and the last eight games were regulation losses. The Red Wings have been outscored 28-5 over their last six.
“We’ve played pretty well the last number of games, with the exception of a terrible game against Toronto, and we’ve gotten no results whatsoever to show for it,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “The scoresheet looks terrible. I get all that. But I’m just telling you, our guys have done lots of good stuff, so let’s just keep building on those things.”