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Isles' Kyle Palmieri, the former Devil, returns to New Jersey for the first time

Kyle Palmieri of the Islanders celebrates his second-period

Kyle Palmieri of the Islanders celebrates his second-period goal against the Boston Bruins in Game 4 of the Second Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs with his teammates at Nassau Coliseum on June 5. Credit: Jim McIsaac

NEWARK — Kyle Palmieri faced the Devils at Prudential Center in Thursday night’s 4-0 loss for the first time since his trade to the Islanders on April 7.

But he didn’t necessarily play the team he left. The Devils have nine new players on their roster just from the start of this season.

"It probably makes it a little easier," said Smithtown’s Palmieri, who played for the Devils from 2015-21 after growing up in Montvale, New Jersey. "There’s a couple of guys I knew just from call-ups. It’s a lot of roster changeover but I still have some friends over there."

Palmieri was honored with a video tribute during a stoppage at 11:23 of the first period highlighting his charity work with military veterans and ending with "Welcome back to Jersey, Kyle." Palmieri raised his stick in salute to the cheers while players on both teams tapped their sticks against the wall.

Coach Barry Trotz said Palmieri, who had four shots in 17:15 but was a minus-3, was the Islanders’ best forward in the loss.

The Islanders were supposed to play the Devils at Prudential Center in the preseason on Oct. 7 but a power outage in the building forced the cancellation of that game.

"That was a little weird," said Palmieri, who agreed to a four-year, $20 million extension with the Islanders after becoming an unrestricted free agent. "But, coming back here in the regular season, a lot of great memories."

Notes & quotes: The Islanders’ 42 shots were a season high . . . Mathew Barzal logged 18:29 with four shots as he played in his 300th regular-season game . . . Defenseman Andy Greene, the former Devils captain, played 17:59 in his 999th regular-season game. He can reach 1,000 games on Monday night against the Lightning, becoming the first undrafted player to hit that milestone.

New York Sports