Islanders finish regular season with 5-4 win over Penguins

NEW YORK (AP) — Simon Holmstrom scored the go-ahead goal in the third period, Ilya Sorokin stopped Sidney Crosby on a late penalty shot and the playoff-bound New York Islanders edged the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-4 on Wednesday night.

Samuel Bolduc and Brock Nelson each had a goal and an assist, and Casey Cizikas and Kyle Palmieri also scored for the Islanders, who ended the regular season having won eight of their last nine (8-0-1). Ruslan Iskhakov had his first NHL assist in his debut.

Sorokin finished with 39 saves, including one on Crosby in the final minute when the Penguins were awarded a penalty shot.

The Islanders, who finished third in the Metropolitan Division, open the playoffs Saturday at Carolina.

Pittsburgh's Jeff Carter had a goal in what was likely his final game in the NHL. Rickard Rakell, Evgeni Malkin and Valtteri Puustinen also scored for the Penguins. Crosby had two assists and ended the season with 94 points — 42 goals and 52 assists.

Alex Nedeljkovic made 27 saves, but the Penguins failed to reach the postseason for the second straight season.

With the game tied at 4, Holmstrom wired a wrist shot from the faceoff circle past the blocker of Nedeljkovic and the Islanders regained a one-goal lead at 14:27 of the third period.

The goal came after the 39-year-old Carter finished a feed from Crosby to tie it at 4 at 10:56 of the third.

Nelson finished a pretty feed from Holmstrom to open the scoring at 4:56 of the first period.

Rakell evened it at 1 when he beat Sorokin with a soft wrister near the blue line late in the first.

Penguins took their first lead of the game when Crosby found Malkin near the far post as Pittsburgh capitalized on the power play. The goal was reviewed for a kicking motion, but was ruled a good goal per the officials.

Islanders defenseman Alexander Romanov craftily kept the puck in the offensive zone and fired a shot that Cizikas redirected past Nedeljkovic to tie it at 2 at 13:19 of the second.

Puustinen gave Pittsburgh a short-lived one-goal advantage when he stole the puck from New York defenseman Adam Pelech and rifled a shot past Sorokin at 14:37.

Palmieri reached the 30-goal milestone for the second time in his NHL career, tying it at 3 in the final minute of the second.

Bolduc’s shot inadvertently deflected off Penguins defenseman Ryan Shea and past Nedeljkovic to give the Islanders a 4-3 lead 1:36 into the third. Ryan Pulock and Iskhakov assisted on the go-ahead power-play goal.


New York's Jean-Gabriel Pageau left midway through the first and did not return. ... Oliver Wahlstrom and Samuel Bolduc also returned to the Islanders' lineup. Mathew Barzal, Pierre Engvall, Hudson Fasching and Anders Lee did not dress.


Penguins: Head into the offseason.

Islanders: Visit Carolina on Saturday to begin their first-round playoff series.