Red Wings lose fifth in a row, recall McCollum

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The Detroit Red Wings’ frustrations continued on Friday as the New York Islanders handed them their fifth straight loss and Jimmy Howard went down with a lower-body injury.

Detroit seems to be downplaying the severity of Howard’s issue, yet it’s troublesome enough that the team sent Xavier Ouellet down to the minors in exchange for Tom McCollum in case Howard’s day-to-day issue stretches to multiple days, as MLive.com’s Ansar Khan reports.

Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock described it as a “high-level hockey game” and was generally impressed by both teams, but the Red Wings have to be muttering a bit at this five-game stretch.

Three of their losses came via shootouts and all but one was decided by one goal. (Then again, maybe the Islanders simply have Detroit’s number, as they’re 8-1-1 in their last 10 games versus the Red Wings.)

Babcock & Co. have been around the block numerous times, so they’re less likely to cave in to the frustration. And, really, when even stars like Pavel Datsyuk are delivering hits like these, you know the effort is often there: