Palmieri, Nelson lead Islanders’ 6-3 rout of Anaheim Ducks
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Kyle Palmieri had a career-high four points with a goal and three assists, Brock Nelson scored two goals and linemate Pierre Engvall also scored in the New York Islanders’ 6-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night.
Nelson scored the tiebreaking goal late in the second period and added another in the third to secure his second straight 30-goal season for the Islanders, who snapped a two-game skid. Engvall matched his career high with his 15th goal by scoring in his third consecutive game for the Isles, who acquired the Swedish winger from Toronto two weeks ago.
The 32-year-old Palmieri scored four points for the first time in his 724-game NHL career, which began with five seasons in Anaheim. The Ducks chose Palmieri in the first round back in 2009.
“Feels nice just to do it,” Palmieri said after his latest return to Anaheim, where he always receives a warm ovation. “Doesn’t matter where it was. Our line stepped up and was able to make a positive contribution. … (Engvall) is fitting in well with us, and it’s clear he’s working hard.”
Hudson Fasching and Zach Parise also scored and Ilya Sorokin made 20 saves in a bounce-back performance for New York, which had been outscored 10-3 in its first back-to-back regulation losses since January. Facing the NHL’s worst defensive team at Honda Center, the Isles produced their highest-scoring performance since Jan. 3.
“I thought our line did a lot of good things,” Nelson said. “Probably the best thing for us was to get right back at it (after getting routed by Los Angeles on Tuesday). These two points are huge for us.”
New York is even with Pittsburgh and five points ahead of Florida atop the Eastern Conference wild-card standings, but the Penguins and the Panthers both have three games in hand on the Isles.
Kevin Shattenkirk scored two goals and Max Jones scored 25 seconds after the opening faceoff for the Ducks, who have lost four of five despite earning a point in eight of their previous nine games. John Gibson stopped 17 shots in Anaheim’s second straight loss to open its eight-game homestand.
“We’ve taken some really great strides here, but tonight we took a step backwards,” Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins said. “We just couldn’t come out of it. We’re going to have to get back to the game we were playing.”
Jones beat Sorokin for his sixth goal of the season after being left all alone in the slot in the opening minute, but Palmieri tied it on a cross-ice pass from Engvall later in the first.
Trevor Zegras then made a magical through-the-legs pass to himself to maintain puck possession before slipping a pass to Shattenkirk for the defenseman’s third goal of the season.
“The kid is skilled,” Eakins said of Zegras. “It all comes very naturally to him.”
Shattenkirk added a power-play goal in the third period for the sixth two-goal game of his long career.
Nelson put the Islanders ahead for good when he ripped a one-timer past Gibson with 23 seconds left in the second period for his 29th goal.
The Ducks announced goalie Anthony Stolarz will miss the rest of the season after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery Tuesday. Stolarz played in only 19 games this season for the NHL’s worst defensive team, making his last appearance Feb. 7.
Islanders: At San Jose on Saturday.
Ducks: Host Columbus on Friday.
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