Elmont, NY–The New York Islanders have a week until their regular season opener, and they’ll need to use all of it to recover from losing their final three games to end the preseason, which culminated in a 3-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils Friday night at UBS Arena.
“The last exhibition game is always a tough one to play,” Islanders head coach Lane Lambert said. “Guys are looking forward to next weekend and the regular season.”
With a lineup composed of mainly AHL players, the Devils shut out the Islanders as Akria Schmid made 30 saves in goal for New Jersey.
By the end of the second period, Islanders fans had begun to boo their home team.
As it was in their two previous losses, the Islanders’ defensive structure was weak against the Devils.
“I think we need to be quicker to close and eliminate and plays in our defensive zone,” Lambert said. “That will give us a lot more opportunity and energy to play in the offensive zone.”
The Islanders dressed their most NHL-ready lineup of the preseason on Friday, with Kyle Palmieri receiving his first game action after missing nearly two weeks of training camp with an undisclosed injury.
“I liked him [tonight],” Lambert said. “It was his first game, but he was he looked like a power forward tonight. He used his body and drove pucks to the net. I liked his game.”
Palmieri was re-inserted back alongside Brock Nelson and also featured in front of the net on the Islanders’ first power play unit.
The Islanders were 0-4 on the man advantage against the Devils and finished the preseason with just one extra-strength goal in 14 attempts.
In Palmieri’s return to the lineup, Hudson Fasching and Pierre Engvall were missing for the Islanders. Both are described as day-to-day with maintenance and are expected to be ready in time for the regular season opener on Saturday, Oct. 14, at home against the Buffalo Sabres.