ANAHEIM– It may have taken New York Islanders newcomer Pierre Engvall a few games to get accustomed to his new situation, but after going pointless in his first three games, he’s been electric over his last three outings.
Pierre Engvall entered Wednesday night’s game against the Ducks with goals in two straight games but found himself in a new spot in the lineup, flanking Brock Nelson and Kyle Palmieri, a move by head coach Lane Lambert paid dividends in the 6-3 win.
Engvall was all over the ice, with his speed on display throughout the game.
Not only did he record the primary assist on Kyle Palmieri’s tying goal in the first period, but he also extended his goal streak to three games, as his breakaway tally gave the Islanders a two-goal cushion a tad under three minutes into the third period.
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The second line as a whole carried the Islanders to victory, as Brock Nelson potted two, with Palmieri recording four points, a career-high, with a goal and three assists, to go along with Engvall’s goal and assist.
NYI Hockey Now asked Islanders head coach Lane Lambert what made him place Engvall on that line.
“His speed, I thought, complements Brock,” Lambert said. “I thought Brock was skating exceptional tonight. You can see it right from the very beginning, and Pierre is certainly a guy who can complement that.”
Now the threesome wasn’t a completely new line, getting a few shifts together in the 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night.
“I played just a couple of shifts with him in LA,” Nelson said. “I think he’s got a lot of speed. He’s strong. He’s good on the puck. Like, he makes a lot of little plays in tight.
“I think that was part of the reason we had some success today.”
Palmieri spoke rather highly of his new linemate.
“He’s a good player. Since he’s come over, I think you look, and you saw bits and pieces and flashes of his speed and how well he protects the puck and, when he gets in open areas, he knows how to finish,” Palmieri said. “But I think he’s settling in and kind of getting to know the system.
“It’s a little different now, how we play and how much structure we play with, so it takes some getting used to it. I went through it a couple of years ago, and it’s not easy just kind of jump right into it. And obviously, this time of year, we don’t have a ton of practices either, so he’s been playing well, and hopefully, we just keep it going.”
Palmieri, as mentioned, found himself in a similar situation in 2021, as he and Travis Zajac were dealt to New York from the New Jersey Devils a few days before the NHL Trade Deadline. It took some getting used to for Palmieri, and he explained what aspects of the Islanders take getting used to.
“I think some of the lingoes that we use in the meetings took me a couple of months to figure out some of the stuff, but I think it’s one of those things that you just learn kind of on the fly,” Palmieri said. “Like I said, we don’t have a ton of practices, and when we do, coach would yell out four drills that the names don’t make any sense, and you just gotta stay on the back of the line trying to figure it out.
“But no, I think he’s fit in well for us, and he’s just got to keep playing the way he’s playing. He’s going to be an impact player for us.”
Engvall enjoyed playing with his two new linemates and felt an instant connection.
“I think we’ve got good chemistry,” Engvall said. “I try to use my speed. I think both Nelson and Palmieri are really good at finding open spots. So yeah, I think it worked well. It was a nice game.
“First few games, I’m trying to just take it all in, you know, a new city, a new team, everything. I think it is just like every line you play with. I’ve been on different lines. I think every line has taken good care of me.”
Can Pierre Engvall make it four games in a row with a gaol when the New York Islanders battle the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night?