Kyle Palmieri completed five seasons with the Devils and reached the postseason just once.
He wants to make the most of his playoff chance with the Islanders.
"Coming into a new team, especially at the deadline, you’re coming in to help this team win," said Palmieri, acquired along with Travis Zajac on April 7. "I’m just going to do whatever it takes to help my team win. This time of the year, it’s a lot of hard hockey. Coming from Jersey, you can’t take playoff hockey for granted and I’m excited to be back in the playoffs."
The Islanders played their regular-season finale on Monday night in Boston, with the NHL playoffs expected to start this weekend.
Palmieri, originally from Smithtown, scored his second goal as an Islander in Saturday’s 5-1 win over the Devils, racing to linemate Oliver Wahlstrom’s flipped feed into the offensive zone, pulling the puck to his backhand and pushing it past goalie Mackenzie Blackwood as he bowled over his former teammate.
"I think he’s been pretty used to me in his crease through a lot of years of practice," Palmieri said. "He’s a big boy, so he’s used to a little contact from me."
It was exactly the type of play and goal coach Barry Trotz wants to see from Palmieri and knows the Islanders will need in the playoffs.
"I just said, ‘You’ve got to be greasy,’" Trotz said. "’I’m not even worried about your scoring. Just be a greasy hockey player that’s in your face, going to the hard areas, bang around.’ He did that and he ends up scoring. Maybe that’s the trick: Don’t worry about scoring, play a greasy game and you’ll get results."
"It was big," linemate Jean-Gabriel Pageau said. "He plays the right way. He plays hard. He plays physical, just the way I like to. We have good chemistry off the ice already. On the ice, we’re still working on it and I feel like things are starting to click."
Still, despite getting frequent scoring chances, Palmieri knows the expectations for him to be more of a consistent producer, given the Islanders sent this year’s first-round pick to the Devils as part of the package to land him and Zajac.
"He’s had quite a few chances," said defenseman Andy Greene, also a teammate with the Devils. "With him, it’s about making sure he’s getting those opportunities. He’s playing well. He’s contributing in other areas. But we were happy to see that goal go in the other night."
Palmieri went to the playoffs four times with the Ducks from 2011-15.
But the Devils qualified only in 2018 during Palmieri’s tenure with the team. He had one goal and two assists as the Lightning eliminated the Devils in five games in the first round.
Notes & quotes: Brock Nelson played in his 301st consecutive game, tying Bobby Nystrom for second place on the team’s all-time list. Billy Harris (576) is the team leader…Matt Martin and Travis Zajac sat with Cal Clutterbuck and Ross Johnston back in…The organization announced its AHL affiliate in Bridgeport, known as the Sound Tigers, has been rebranded as the Islanders. It introduced a new logo with a prominent B, a hockey stick with the Islanders’ "NY" as the tape on the blade and the new team name. The Islanders’ blue and orange will be the color scheme. "I don’t think there’s any question about the commitment we’d like to have with the city and the continuation of this franchise being located in Bridgeport," Bridgeport general manager Chris Lamoriello said…" Former Islanders coach Jack Capuano, now the Senators associate coach, was named Team USA’s coach for the World Championships May 21-June 6 in Latvia.