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Islanders acquisitions from last two trade deadlines win Game 1

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 16: Oliver Wahlstrom #26 celebrates with Kyle Palmieri #21 of the New York Islanders after Palmieri's goal in the first period in Game One of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena on May 16, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 16: Oliver Wahlstrom #26 celebrates with Kyle Palmieri #21 of the New York Islanders after Palmieri's goal in the first period in Game One of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena on May 16, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
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He draws all of his power from his beard. In 17 games with the New York Islanders following a trade from the New Jersey Devils Kyle Palmieri scored two goals and four points.

It didn’t seem that Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello acquired the right player as his team headed to the playoffs against the Penguins. Head Coach Barry Trotz wasn’t worried though. Palmieri had been playing “the right way”, production was going to come.

And by God was Barry ever right.

Kyle Palmieri plays hero for New York Islanders

It didn’t take long for Barry’s prediction to come true. Just 7:58 into the game Palmieri found himself in a familiar spot on the right faceoff dot with the puck on his stick. As a volume-shooting winger aught to do he fired it on net and beat Tristan Jarry high glove.

This is what the Islanders wanted from Palmieri during the regular season but for some reason, he just couldn’t deliver. As we know with a Barry Trotz system, sometimes it takes a new acquisition time to settle into their new role. Clearly, an eight-day break after the regular season finally helped Palmieri.

Sure he was quiet through most of the game after this goal, he’d only get one more shot on goal, but his line was excellent today. The Pageau-Palmieri-Wahlstrom trip finished with a 64.29 CF%, 50 SCF%, and 70.69 XGF%. All three were team highs for the Isles.

(Stats from NaturalStatTrick.)

That line and Palmieri were doing all the right things. As Barry said, production would come. At 16:30 of OT, Barry’s mantra was proven right yet again.

With little space to work with and a bouncing puck, Palmieri bats into a tiny opening above Jarry’s left shoulder. Just look how small that space is where Palmieri squeezed it through. Remarkable.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau the First Star

With two goals, including a game-winner in OT, you’d think that Palmieri would be the first star. Even the NHL thought so, but Jean-Gabriel Pageau with three points on the day has to be that first star.

The trade deadline acquisition from 2020 had a massive game for the Isles that would eventually power them to the victory and early series lead.

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