Nelson scores twice, Islanders gain in East race with win against Devils

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UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Brock Nelson scored two goals, and the New York Islanders gained ground in the MassMutual East Division with a 5-1 win against the New Jersey Devils at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday.

Mathew Barzal had a goal and an assist, and Kyle Palmieri scored his first goal in 13 games for the Islanders (32-17-6), who ended a three-game skid and moved within a point of third place in the East. Ilya Sorokin made 23 saves.

Andreas Johnsson scored and Mackenzie Blackwood made 22 saves for the Devils (19-29-7), who won their previous two games and five of seven.

It was the last scheduled regular season game at Nassau Coliseum, which has been the Islanders home arena for 1,738 games since Oct. 7, 1972. They’re expected to move into UBS Arena in Elmont, New York, for the start of next season.

Jordan Eberle gave New York a 1-0 lead at 18:01 of the first period, scoring with a high shot from inside the left circle off a criss-crossing rush play with Barzal. The play started with Leo Komarov (two assists) forcing a turnover along the wall in the defensive zone.

Johnsson tied it 1-1 at 4:58 of the second period on a one-timer from the left circle.

Nelson scored a power-play goal off a netfront rebound created off a one-timer from Oliver Wahlstrom (two assists) to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead at 9:00 of the second period.

He scored again from in front of the net at 12:40 to make it 3-1.

Palmieri scored his first goal since April 11 to make it 4-1 at 3:32 of the third, and Barzal scored 37 seconds later at 4:09 for the 5-1 final.

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