NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Kyle Palmieri scored two third-period goals and the New Jersey Devils opened some daylight on the New York Islanders in the race for a wild-card playoff berth with a 2-1 victory Saturday night.
Taylor Hall extended his NHL-best points streak to 14 games with two assists, and Keith Kinkaid made 30 saves as the Devils maintained a five-point lead over Columbus in the race for the top wild-card spot, and increased their lead over the ninth-place Islanders to seven points.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak and allowed the sellout crowd to go home happy after the career scoring leader Patrik Elias’s No. 26 jersey was retired in a pregame ceremony.
Jordan Eberle scored in the second period for the Islanders. Jaroslav Halak was outstanding, making 31 saves for New York, which has lost three straight (0-2-1).
Palmeri got his inner with 8:49 to play, when he redirected Sami Vatanen’s shot from the right point past Halakpoin. It was his 16th goal of the season and came from the goaltender’s crease.
The Devils survived a late Islanders’ power play and a hard shot by Eberle in the closing minute with the New York net empty.
Palmieri tied it at 1 with 13:25 left with a shot into the upper corner of the net from low in the left circle. Hall had nudged the puck to him near the Devils blue line and Palmieri skated up the ice before ripping a shot for his 15th goal.
The Islanders had taken the lead early in the second period when Eberle capped a tic-tac-toe 3-on-2 rush by tapping an Anthony Beauvillier pass into an open net for his 22nd goal. Rookie Matthew Barzal picked up his 49th assist of the season on the play.
NOTES: The Islanders acquired defenseman Brandon Davidson from Edmonton for a third-round pick in the 2019 draft earlier in the day. … The Devils sent F Blake Pietila to Binghamton (AHL). … Michael Grabner, who was acquired from the Rangers on Thursday night, played his first game for New Jersey and wore No. 40 F Blake Coleman gave Grabner the number and switched to No. 20. … New Jersey is 2-0-1 against the Islanders this season.
Islanders: At Montreal on Thursday night.
Devils: At Pittsburgh on Tuesday night
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