Palmieri powers Islanders past Devils
NEW YORK (AP) — Kyle Palmieri had two goals and an assist, Ilya Sorokin made 30 saves and the New York Islanders beat the New Jersey Devils 5-1 on Monday night.
Pierre Engvall, Bo Horvat and Zach Parise also scored for the Islanders, who stopped a two-game losing streak and moved three points ahead of Pittsburgh for the first wild card in the Eastern Conference.
Eric Haula scored for the Devils and Vitek Vanecek finished with 31 saves. New Jersey, which clinched a playoff spot with a win against Ottawa on Saturday, remained three points behind first-place Carolina in the Metropolitan Division.
Palmieri lifted a backhander past Vanecek with 5:38 left in the middle period to snap a 1-1 tie then scored an insurance goal with 4:35 left in the third, his 15th of the season.
After making 16 saves through the first two periods, Sorokin stopped all 14 shots he faced in the third to improve to 27-19-7.
Palmieri's second of the night made it 3-1, and Horvat and Parise had empty-netters in the final 62 seconds to seal the win.
The Islanders improved to 16-5-0 in their last 21 games against the Devils, including 8-3-0 at home.
Engvall put New York ahead at 7:37 of the first. Palmieri skated in alone on Vanecek who made an initial save but Engvall knocked in the rebound for his 16th goal of the season — fourth since being acquired from Toronto on Feb. 28.
Haula tied it with an unassisted short-handed goal at 6:15 of the second, his ninth.
NOTES: The Islanders scratched forwards Josh Bailey and Ross Johnson, and defensemen Sebastian Aho and Parker Wotherspoon. ... The Devils scratched forwards Nathan Bastian, Curtis Lazar, Jesper Boqvist and Nolan Foote.
Devils: Host the New York Rangers on Thursday night.
Islanders: At Washington on Wednesday night.
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