The New York Islanders ended the regular season on a high note, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-4 on Wednesday night at UBS Arena.

Brock Nelson (1G, 1A), Simon Holmstrom (GWG, 1A) and Samuel Bolduc (1G, 1A) each had two-point games, while Casey Cizikas and Kyle Palmieri rounded out the scoring for the Islanders.

Rickard Rakell, Evgeni Malkin (1G, 1A), Valtteri Puustinen and Jeff Carter scored for the Penguins, while Sidney Crosby had a pair of assists.

Ilya Sorokin stopped 40 of 44 in the win, including a Crosby penalty shot with 30 seconds to play while protecting a one-goal lead. Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 27-of-32 in the loss.

While the game had no standings implications, it was an entertaining tilt, that saw the teams tied 1-1, 2-2, 3-3 and eventually 4-4 when Carter, playing in his final NHL game, knotted the game. Holmstrom buried the winner from the slot after a solid effort play by Kyle MacLean to retrieve the puck. Sorokin’s penalty shot stop – plus another deflection in the dying seconds from Carter – put an exclamation point on a fun game that also included a pair of disallowed goals.

“I thought it was important to close our season. And I think we wanted to play this one for our fans. I mean, our fans had been so good to us and very supportive,” Head Coach Patrick Roy said. “If we were missing five or six guys, it was a hard fought game, but we played a great game.”

With the win, the Isles finish the season on an 8-0-1 run and their nine games to end the regular season without a regulation loss is the second most in franchise history, three games shy of 12 in 1980.

Recap: Penguins at Islanders 4.17.24


Kyle Palmieri scored his 30th goal of the season on Wednesday, hitting the 30-goal mark for the first time since the 2015-16 season.

Palmieri hit the milestone with a one-timer in the second period, burying a feed from Brock Nelson on the power play at 19:44. The winger had a close call earlier in the game, ringing a shot off the post in the first period. Palmieri finished the game with a game-high seven shots.

While Palmieri downplayed the achievement, he offered this as to why he had such a successful year.

“I just stayed healthy,” Palmieri said. “Me and [Brock] Nelson have spent most of the season together. He's a great player, and I think we complement each other pretty well. As a whole our teams has played really well down the stretch and given ourselves an opportunity to make some noise here come next week.”

The goal extended Palmieri’s point streak to a career-long seven games, with 10 points (6G, 4A) over that span. Palmieri now has goals in six of his last seven games.

Palmieri became the third Islanders player to hit the 30-goal mark this season, joining Nelson (34) and Bo Horvat (33). It marked the first time the Isles had three, 30-goal scorers since 1993-94 (Steve Thomas – 42, Pierre Turgeon – 38, Benoit Hogue – 36 and Derek King – 30).

PIT@NYI: Palmieri scores goal against Alex Nedeljkovic


With Wednesday’s game having no impact in the standings, Patrick Roy took a chance to rest some of his regulars. Mathew Barzal, Pierre Engvall and Hudson Fasching all took maintenance days.

It also offered a chance to get a game in for Oliver Wahlstrom, Samuel Bolduc and Simon Holmstrom to draw back into the lineup. For Bolduc, it was his first game since Jan. 27, but the defenseman made the most of it, netting a goal and an assist. For Wahlstrom, it was his first game since Feb. 24, while Holmstrom was back in after a brief two-game absence. Holmstrom picked up an assist, with a slick backhand dish over to Brock Nelson for the game’s first goal, and scored the eventual game-winner.

“It was important tonight to have everybody playing and see the ice, so if something happened in the playoffs, we you know, at least he would have a game under his belt,” Roy said.

Anders Lee was a late scratch due to personal reasons, with Sebastian Aho drawing into the lineup and causing the Islanders to go 11 forwards and seven defensemen. Aho finished the game as a winger, as JG Pageau left the game midway through the first period and did not return. Roy did not have an update on Pageau after the win.

PIT@NYI: Sorokin with a great save


One lineup move stood out from the others, as Ruslan Iskhakov, the Isles’ second-round pick in 2018 (43rd overall), made his NHL debut.

Iskhakov recorded an assist for his first NHL point, along with a pair of shots in 14:11 TOI, which included 1:29 of power-play time. While the lines were jumbled from the jump with the 11-7 formation Iskhakov played with different linemates, eventually getting some time with Nelson and Palmieri. Nelson fed a streaking Iskhakov, but the rookie couldn’t corral the puck enough to beat Nedeljkovic.

“I had fun watching him play,” Roy said. “I was very happy with what I've seen to a point that I was very comfortable to put him with Brock and Kyle I think they had fun playing with him as well. He's got great energy. He competes. He’s small but I don't know if he knows he's small, the way he's been playing so that's nice to watch.”


The second season starts on Saturday night, as the Islanders take on the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 1 of their First Round series in Raleigh, NC. Puck drop is at 5 p.m.

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