Kyle Palmieri’s historic 1st-period hat trick sparks Islanders to 5-1 thumping of Bruins

Kyle Palmieri Islanders Bruins

ELMONT, N.Y. — Kyle Palmieri recorded a first-period natural hat trick and four points overall to fuel the New York Islanders to a 5-1 victory over the Boston Bruins on Saturday night at UBS Arena. 

Palmieri scored his trio of goals 8:47 apart — his first hat trick since 2019 when he was a member of the New Jersey Devils — making it the fastest natural hat trick to start a game in franchise history. He became the first Islander since Jason Blake on Feb. 27, 2007, to record a hat trick in the first period and is the first Islander to score three or more goals in a game since Jean-Gabriel Pageau did so on April 3, 2022, against the Devils.

“I probably couldn’t have drawn it up much better,” Palmieri said. “Saturday night at home, we wanted to make it a good one and get off to a good start. That’s what we did.”

His big night sparked the Islanders’ third consecutive victory (26-20-14), which allowed them to stay within five points of third place and the final automatic playoff in the Metropolitan Division after the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-1. 

Palmieri opened the scoring 3:32 into the game when Noah Dobson sprung him on a transitional break down the right wing into the Bruins zone where he beat Linus Ullmark through the five-hole. 

“We were making our decisions quick, we were executing, and we were just getting the puck up ice fast,” Palmieri said. “The defense and the centers did a great job of being in spots where we can break the puck out and not give them too much.”

Just 1:55 later, he cleaned up a Bo Horvat rebound while on the power play to double the Islanders’ advantage. His third was similar at the 12:19 mark of the period when he pounced on another Ullmark rebound that was strategically created by a Ryan Pulock attempt from the right circle to give the hosts a 3-0 lead after the opening period. 

“[Ullmark is] a good goalie positionally. He takes away a lot of the net,” Palmieri said. “There’s not a whole lot to really shoot at so I think we were just trying to generate pucks to the net. [Pulock] made a great play as he was coming down. That was pretty unselfish of him to lay it into the pads and see what happens.”

Palmieri picked up his fourth point of the night 46 seconds into the second with a secondary assist on Anders Lee’s goal. On an odd-man rush, Palmieri fed Pageau, who dropped it back for Lee. His initial attempt was saved by Ullmark, but the rebound presented an easy tap-in as the Boston netminder was out of position. 

“He brought a finishing touch,” Lee said. “Those are quick pucks, fast pucks. You have to be able to pick it up and handle it. He did that phenomenally tonight. That’s why he put in three and why I was on the receiving end of small, little, smart plays from him all night.”

Photo: Kevin Kane/KK Images

He departed the game midway through the period when he was driven into the boards by Bruins defenseman and former Islander, Parker Wotherspoon. He went down the tunnel to get checked out and didn’t return until later in the period.

Moments after Palmieri’s exit, the Islanders got their fifth when Brock Nelson capitalized on another uncontested Ullmark rebound. Receiving a pass from the left corner from Bo Horvat, Nelson’s initial one-timer was saved but he popped the second chance into the top shelf of the goal with 9:36 remaining in the period.

“Nights like this for the coaches are fun because everybody played a really good game,” Islanders head coach Patrick Roy said. “I thought that our guys were on the puck, we were quick to help support each other offensively, but we did the same thing defensively…

“That pleased me a lot to see our guys committed like this.”

The Bruins pulled one back through Marc McLaughlin four minutes later when he fired a one-timer home to punish an Islanders transitional defense that was in disarray. 

It was the one blemish on Ilya Sorokin’s ledger — the Islanders goalie made 24 saves in his third successive victory. This is the first time this season that he has won three in a row.

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