There isn’t a better time to score your first goal for a new team than against one of its biggest rivals. Kyle Palmieri did that on Sunday night when he scored his first goal in a New York Islanders uniform against the New York Rangers.
The goal came 1:47 into the first period with the Islanders on the power play. Josh Bailey fired the puck from just above the near-side faceoff circle and it was tipped by Brock Nelson towards Palmieri, who whacked the puck with a backhander that beat Igor Shesterkin.
— Isles on MSG+ Tonight (@IslesMSGN) April 11, 2021
It was the first of two goals the Islanders would score in the first period.
“The puck kind of just ended up finding the backdoor,” Palmieri said during an intermission interview with MSG Network. “I think Nelly tipped it there. It wasn’t the prettiest one, but they all count the same. It was good to contribute and hopefully I continue to do that.”
Sunday was Palmieri’s third game of the year as a member of the Islanders. He was acquired by New York on Wednesday in a deal with the New Jersey Devils that also brought Travis Zajac to Long Island.
The two had played on the same line for their first two games as Islanders, but head coach Barry Trotz changed things up against the Rangers. Zajac skated on the first line with Jordan Eberle and Mathew Barzal, while Palmieri was on a line with Oliver Wahlstrom and Jean-Gabriel Pageau.
“It’s been awesome. I think we’re playing with a lot of pace and getting in in the offensive zone,” Kyle Palmieri said. “Creating turnovers and recovering the puck. We just continue to do that some scoring chances will come our way.”
Kyle Palmieri may be new to the Islanders but he isn’t a total stranger to the team or how they play. Having played in New Jersey and faced the Islanders on many occasions he knew what he was walking into.
“They don’t give up a whole lot and I think the D-zone, and the buy-in that the structure that we play with is something that you want to get down right away,” Palmieri said. “The offense and getting your feet moving and creating stuff on the other end of the ice is going to come naturally with that. That was the thing I focused on the most.”