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Islanders look to continue uphill climb vs. Blues

Sportsnaut
Apr 8, 2022; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA;  New York Islanders right wing Kyle Palmieri (21) celebrates his goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Islanders look to record their sixth win in the last seven games when they visit the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night.

The Islanders (33-28-9, 75 points) rebounded from a 3-2 setback in Dallas on Tuesday with a 2-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday in Raleigh, N.C.

Ilya Sorokin returned from a five-game absence due to an upper-body injury and made 20 saves on Friday.

Kyle Palmieri scored the go-ahead goal with 14.1 seconds remaining against the Hurricanes. It was his 14th goal of the season and third in his last five games.

“What a goal and what a response by Palms,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said.

Trotz was heartened by the way the rest of the players stepped up.

“Our bench was fantastic today,” he added. “They were saying let’s go, let’s go after these guys.”

Palmieri deflected the praise and credited his teammates instead.

“I think if you look up and down the lineup, even the guys that don’t show up on the score sheet, they’re playing great hockey,” Palmieri said.

The recent surge has New York 11 points in back of the Washington Capitals for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

“We are playing well right now,” Zach Parise said. “We’re having a lot of fun. We’re getting good results, but I think we’re enjoying the process throughout the game and like Palmieri was saying, I mean, we’re enjoying playing for each other and we win by committee. And who knows, you know what, we’re going to keep playing hard. We’re going to keep trying to win games and hopefully, get lucky, but we’re not going to quit, we’re going to keep going.”

The Blues (41-20-10, 92 points) also are playing great hockey with wins in four straight games, including a 4-3 overtime victory against the Minnesota Wild on Friday.

The Blues played without Jordan Kyrou (illness) and saw fellow forward Mackenzie MacEachern exit with an upper-body injury.

The team can credit its recent success to Ville Husso, who is 6-0-1 in his last seven appearances.

“The way we played today (against the Wild), I feel like we can beat anybody in this league,” Husso said.

Forward Robert Thomas, who scored in overtime on a pass from Vladimir Tarasenko, has become one of the top pieces in St. Louis’ chess set.He is riding a seven-game point streak (three goals, six assists)

Thomas has recorded career-high totals in goals (17), assists (45) and points (62) this season.

Tarasenko’s 25 goals are tied with Pavel Buchnevich for the team lead, while his 62 points are one shy of Kyrou and Thomas for top honors.

“He does a little bit of everything,” Blues coach Craig Berube said of Tarasenko. “He has the ability to score goals, make plays, he’s a good overall player.”

–Field Level Media