Recap: Islanders @ Ducks 3.10.24

ANAHEIM -- Brock Nelson and Bo Horvat each had a goal and an assist for the New York Islanders, who extended their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 6-1 victory against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on Sunday.

Kyle Palmieri scored his 20th goal of the season, and Mathew Barzal had two assists for the Islanders (29-20-14), who moved into a tie with the Detroit Red Wings for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. Semyon Varlamov, who was making his first start since Feb. 22, made 22 saves for his first win since Dec. 13.

"The job's not done yet," New York forward Casey Cizikas said. "There's still a lot to accomplish, there's still a lot of hockey to be played, and we've got to continue playing our game."

Alex Killorn scored for the fourth straight game, and Lukas Dostal made 13 saves for the Ducks (23-38-3), who finished a five-game homestand 2-3-0.

“At some point, people in the room have to take ownership of what’s going on here," Anaheim coach Greg Cronin said. "Come on, it’s game 60-something. It’s frustrating for me that we’re not taking ownership as a group and applying it in the game.”

NYI@ANA: Nelson increases Islanders' lead in 1st period

The Islanders scored on their final three shots of the first period to build a 3-0 lead.

Cizikas made it 1-0 at 5:11. Simon Holmstrom stole the puck from Gustav Lindstrom below the goal line and passed to Cizikas, who kicked the puck to his stick before scoring five-hole.

"That was incredible to get down the ice and force him to cough that puck up," Cizikas said of the play by Holmstrom. "He stayed on top of him and then made a nice play out front and I was able to get enough of it off to find the back of the net."  

Palmieri made it 2-0 at 7:28, knocking down a stretch pass from Mike Reilly at the blue line before sliding a slow backhand just across the goal line on a breakaway.

It was Palmieri's fifth goal in the past four games.

"Their [defense] was in a little bit of a tough spot, so I tried to give him a passing lane," Palmieri said. "[The puck] might have taken off a little there, but I was lucky enough to be able to settle it down."

Anaheim was able to kill off its first penalty of of the game, but 13 seconds later, Killorn was assessed a minor for hooking at 12:17. He then received an unsportsmanlike penalty for slamming the door to the penalty box.

Eleven seconds into the second penalty, Nelson scored on a one-timer from the slot to push it to 3-0 at 14:28.

Killorn scored 24 seconds into the second period to cut the lead to 3-1.

Horvat scored 34 seconds into the third period to make it 4-1. He got the puck at the edge of the crease after Nelson partially fanned on a shot and scored into an open net past Dostal's outstretched glove.

Pierre Engvall extended the lead to 5-1 on a partial breakaway at 7:56, and Cal Clutterbuck scored from the slot with 1:48 remaining for the 6-1 final.

"The ones that sting are the ones like tonight where there isn't a whole lot going on, some good things defensively, and then two or three times we just have a brain lapse and it ends up costing us," Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler said. "So, it's just continuing to grow as a group, helping the young players out as much as we can, and trying to come up with a more consistent 60 minutes of hockey."

NOTES: The Islanders' winning streak is their longest since a nine-game run from Feb. 28 to March 14, 2021. ... Varlamov had lost his previous seven starts (0-4-2). His previous win also came against the Ducks. ... Barzal extended his point streak to seven games (three goals, six assists). ... Nelson has 10 points (four goals, six assists) during a five-game point streak. ... Horvat went 13-for-17 on face-offs (76.4 percent).