For some reason that only the benevolent hockey gods can explain, the New York Islanders have had lots of recent success against the Detroit Red Wings, particularly at Joe Louis Arena, and now that the Islanders are a top team in the league the hockey gods have not yet seen fit to change that.

A close yet convincing 2-1 win Friday night made the Isles 8-1-1 in their last 10 against the Wings, including 5-0 in Detroit. This goes back several years, several coaches, much roster turnover, and even some uniform changes. It's just one of those things.

The refreshing part Friday night, however, is that the win at the Joe came not through a fortune's wheel-contrived shutout that required many goal posts saving Joey MacDonald. Rather, it came in impressive fashion by an Isles team that outshot the Wings 32-18 and kept most of the Detroit pressure to the perimeter.

The goals came not from the Isles household name stars, but rather from the "kids" who have increasingly been keys to the Isles' 22-10 start this season: Brock Nelson (who tied it) and Anders Lee (who got the winner in the second), though Ryan Strome was kept off the scoresheet.

As a bonus, the struggling Islanders penalty kill even squashed both Wings power plays, conceding only one shot on Jaroslav Halak.