NEW YORK (AP) Simon Holmstrom scored the go-ahead goal in the third period, Ilya Sorokin stopped Sidney Crosby on a late penalty shot and the playoff-bound New York Islanders edged the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-4 on Wednesday night.

Samuel Bolduc and Brock Nelson each had a goal and an assist, and Casey Cizikas and Kyle Palmieri also scored for the Islanders, who ended the regular season having won eight of their last nine (8-0-1). Ruslan Iskhakov had his first NHL assist in his debut.

Sorokin finished with 39 saves, including one on Crosby in the final minute when the Penguins were awarded a penalty shot.

“It’s like a dream,” Sorokin said. “Good moment for me.”

The Islanders, who finished third in the Metropolitan Division, open the playoffs Saturday at Carolina.

“Playoffs are always another level, a different animal,” Nelson said. “They (Carolina) have a great team. They’ve been playing great all year.”

Pittsburgh's Jeff Carter had a goal in what was likely his final game in the NHL. Rickard Rakell, Evgeni Malkin and Valtteri Puustinen also scored for the Penguins. Crosby had two assists and ended the season with 94 points - 42 goals and 52 assists.

“I'm going to be a dad,” the 39-year-old Carter said on what's next for him. “You miss a lot being a hockey player - you're in and out in a way. ... My family sacrificed a lot for me to live out my dream. I'm going to be home and be a dad and then figure it out from there.”

Alex Nedeljkovic made 27 saves, but the Penguins failed to reach the postseason for the second straight season.

With the game tied at 4, Holmstrom wired a wrist shot from the faceoff circle past the blocker of Nedeljkovic and the Islanders regained a one-goal lead at 14:27 of the third period.

“You just want to make sure you play the right way,” Islanders coach Patrick Roy said of playing a game that was meaningless to the standings. “You don’t want to develop bad habits. That’s what I love about this group - there are so many vets on this team and they knew it was important to play the right way and that’s what the guys did.”

Holmstrom's goal came after Carter finished a feed from Crosby to tie it at 4 at 10:56 of the third.

Nelson finished a pretty feed from Holmstrom to open the scoring at 4:56 of the first period.

Rakell evened it at 1 when he beat Sorokin with a soft wrister near the blue line late in the first.

Penguins took their first lead when Crosby found Malkin near the far post as Pittsburgh capitalized on the power play. The goal was reviewed for a kicking motion, but was ruled a good goal, per the officials.

Islanders defenseman Alexander Romanov craftily kept the puck in the offensive zone and fired a shot that Cizikas redirected past Nedeljkovic to tie it at 2 at 13:19 of the second.

Puustinen gave Pittsburgh a short-lived one-goal advantage when he stole the puck from New York defenseman Adam Pelech and rifled a shot past Sorokin at 14:37.

Palmieri reached the 30-goal milestone for the second time in his NHL career, tying it at 3 in the final minute of the second.

“He’s got a great shot, plays hard,” Nelson said of Palmieri. “He’s a big part of our team on and off the ice. Offensively, he’s got great instincts, finds himself open, doesn’t need a whole lot of space.”

Bolduc’s shot inadvertently deflected off Penguins defenseman Ryan Shea and past Nedeljkovic to give the Islanders a 4-3 lead 1:36 into the third. Ryan Pulock and Iskhakov assisted on the go-ahead power-play goal.

NOTES: New York's Jean-Gabriel Pageau left midway through the first and did not return. ... Oliver Wahlstrom and Samuel Bolduc also returned to the Islanders' lineup. Mathew Barzal, Pierre Engvall, Hudson Fasching and Anders Lee did not dress.


Penguins: Head into the offseason.

Islanders: Visit Carolina on Saturday to begin their first-round playoff series.



Copyright 2024 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.