Islanders' Brock Nelson (29) skates past the bench after scoring...

Islanders' Brock Nelson (29) skates past the bench after scoring a goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023, in Elmont. Credit: AP/Frank Franklin II

Brock Nelson immediately credited his linemates.

The Islanders’ second-line center brought a 10-game point streak — the team’s longest since Josh Bailey’s 11-game streak from Dec. 9-31, 2017 — into Tuesday night’s game against the Senators at UBS Arena.

  And Nelson extended it to 11 games when he scored on the powerplay in the third period that tied the game at 2-2. 

Sure, Nelson was aware of the streak. But he was more aware of how he, Kyle Palmieri and Anders Lee have meshed to create scoring chances in the first eight games since Palmieri returned from a lengthy injury absence.

Palmieri had two goals and five assists in that span. Lee had four goals and one assist and Nelson compiled four goals and five assists. Overall, he had six goals and six assists in his 10-game point streak.

“You're aware of it for sure but it’s not something that you’re hyper-focused on,” Nelson said. “I feel like since Palms has been back our line has been pretty solid at generating chances and capitalizing, which leads to that. It’s one of the things that stems from a group effort in terms of the line having success.”

Nelson, in the fourth season of a six-year, $36 million deal with a modified no-trade clause, had 21 goals and 30 assists in his first 56 games this season, setting a new career high for assists. He entered Tuesday eight points shy of matching his career high of 59, something he’ll surely surpass if he continues at this pace. He would need to go on a goal-scoring spree to equal the career-high 37 goals his scored last season.

Yet Nelson was struggling before his point streak, enduring a 14-game goal drought in which he notched just six assists.

He doesn’t notice much difference in his game.

“Not really,” Nelson said. “Same mindset. Same attack mentality, trying to get in there. We’ve definitely had some games that are better than others. Just having confidence to capitalize when you do get that look. Stay ready for that next opportunity and try to bear down and make it count.

“Two easy guys to read off of, too. It doesn’t really change the way I play.”

But Palmieri believes Nelson’s streak also coincided with him playing a more “assertive” game.

“He’s been consistent and he’s a dynamic forward,” said Palmieri, who had missed 27 of 28 games with an upper-body injury. “He plays a well-rounded, 200-foot game. But I think you see he’s being more assertive, too. The way he’s built, the way he plays the game, how fast he plays, he can be a dominant player. That’s exactly what we’re seeing right now, him being a little more assertive and taking pucks to the net.

“You’ve seen it the majority of the year, he’s played real well. But, especially as of late, he’s taken it upon himself to be a lot more assertive with the puck.”

Palmieri has been Nelson’s teammate since 2021 so there’s a familiarity there. Bo Horvat, the former Canucks captain, played his fifth game with the Islanders on Tuesday.

But he already has an appreciation for his fellow All-Star center.

“He’s good all over the ice,” Horvat said. “I don’t think there’s one thing he’s bad at. We know he can score goals but he’s good at the defensive side of the puck, too. His overall game is just really consistent and consistency is a big thing in this league. To get a point streak like that you’ve got to be consistent.”

The Islanders, though, have been inconsistent, entering Tuesday on a two-game losing streak.

“We’re in a spot now where we’ve got to string together as many as we can,” Nelson said. “Points are even more crucial now for us.”

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