Kyle Palmieri's goal with 14.1 seconds left lifts Islanders over Hurricanes
RALEIGH, N.C. — Talk about a frantic final minute. And Islanders coach Barry Trotz believes it was the Hurricanes’ excessive chatter that helped his team to victory.
Kyle Palmieri came around the crease and scored the winner with 14.1 seconds left in regulation — 42 seconds after Vincent Trocheck tied the game with the Hurricanes skating six-on-five — as the Islanders won, 2-1, on Friday night at PNC Arena.
“We didn’t sag,” Trotz said. “They were saying, ‘Let’s go after these guys.’ It didn’t hurt that there were a couple of guys who were chirping. When teams do that to us, it sort of sucks us right into the fight. So I want to thank a couple of their guys.”
Ilya Sorokin (20 saves) then preserved the win with a game-saving stop on Teuvo Teravainen.
Frederik Andersen made 19 saves for the Hurricanes (46-18-8), who are trying to hold off the Rangers for the Metropolitan Division lead. They clinched a playoff berth by rallying for a 5-3 win over the visiting Sabres on Thursday night.
The Islanders (33-28-9) moved within 11 points of the Capitals for the Eastern Conference’s final wild-card spot with 12 games remaining. They conclude this five-game road trip against the Blues on Saturday night and improved to 12-4-1 since March 10.
They also improved to 8-22-2 against teams holding playoff positions.
“It’s huge,” Matt Martin said. “They are one of the top teams in the league. It’s always a tough environment to play in. We’re just playing good hockey right now.”
“We’re getting good results but I think we’re enjoying the process throughout the game,” Zach Parise said. “And, who knows? We’re going to keep playing hard. We’re going to keep trying to win games and hopefully get lucky.”
After sustaining pressure in the first period, the Hurricanes certainly looked like a team playing on back-to-back nights in the second period as they were outshot 8-1 and, on one sequence, Martin was able to outskate everybody to negate an icing call.
The Islanders took a 1-0 lead at 8:24 of the second period as Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored his fifth goal in a three-game goal streak. Palmieri stripped the puck from defenseman Ethan Bear behind the Hurricanes’ crease and got it to Martin, who found Pageau open in the low slot.
This odd Islanders’ season, which started with a franchise-record, 13-game road trip as construction on UBS Arena was completed, opened with a 6-3 loss to the Hurricanes on Oct. 14.
Trotz just chuckled when asked what his reaction would have been that night had he been warned the path on which the Islanders were embarking.
“I had no idea,” Trotz said. “You knew it was going to be different. But you didn’t know all the landmines on the way. But, at the same time, we didn’t handle it as well as maybe we could have.”
Trotz said the rest of the regular season would be used for evaluation as president and general manager Lou Lamoriello formulates his offseason strategy. However, that’s unlikely to include any callups for auditions with their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport battling for a playoff spot.
Notes & quotes: Casey Cizikas’ boarding penalty on Hurricanes defenseman Brendan Smith 20 seconds into the third period could be subject to supplemental discipline from the NHL…Anthony Beauvillier played in his 400th NHL game…Goalie Semyon Varlamov is expected to start Saturday…Trotz coached his 1,800th NHL game. He trails only Scotty Bowman (2,141)…The Islanders allowed just one shot in a period for the first time this season…Defenseman Noah Dobson blocked five shots…Oliver Wahlstrom logged a season-low 6:41…Each team went 0-for-4 on the power play.