Blackwood stops 42 shots, Devils beat Islanders 4-0

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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Mackenzie Blackwood made a season-high 42 saves for his seventh career shutout, and the New Jersey Devils beat the New York Islanders 4-0 on Thursday night.

Janne Kuokkanen scored a short-handed goal, Tomas Tatar had a power-play goal and Dawson Mercer and Dougie Hamilton each had one at even strength to help New Jersey win its third straight and improve to 4-1-2 in the last seven games.

Ilya Sorokin had 30 saves for the Islanders, who lost their second straight in regulation after a 5-0-2 stretch.

Blackwood, making his third start of the season, made 16 saves in the first period, 14 in the second and 12 in the third for his first shutout since March 28 at Boston. He beat the Islanders for the third time in eight career starts against them.

Sorokin had a stellar save early in the third, doing the splits on an attempt by Tatar, to keep the Islanders within two.

However, Mercer pushed New Jersey's lead to 3-0 on a 2-on-1 rush as he got a pass from Andreas Johnsson between the circles, went forehand-backhand and lifted the puck over Sorokin for his fourth of the season at 5:46.

Hamilton, back after missing three games with a lower-body injury, fired a slap shot from the top of the right circle to make it 4-0 with 3:27 left. It was his third.

With the Devils leading 1-0 after 20 minutes, Casey Cizikas fired a one-timer from the right side that Blackwood caught in his chest with 7:18 remaining in the second to keep the Islanders off the scoreboard.

Tatar made it 2-0 on the power play as he deflected Hamilton's shot from the point past Sorokin for his first with 50 seconds to go.

Blackwood made a nice stick save on Mathew Barzal just 1 1/2 minutes into the game. Sorokin slid to his left to deny Alexander Holtz nearly three minutes later, and had a right pad save on Mercer with 8 1/2 minutes left in the period.

New Jersey got on the scoreboard first. With New York on a power play, the puck came out of the corner and squirted out in front. P.K. Subban fired a shot that was stopped by Sorokin, who also denied Nico Hischier's follow from the left side. However, the rebound went to the goalie's left and Kuokkanen quickly put it into an open net for his third with 7:48 left.

New York had a chance to tie it, but Blackwood gloved Oliver Wahlstrom's shot from the right faceoff dot with just under six minutes left in the first.

MILESTONES

Barzal played in his 300th regular-season game. ... Ryan Pulock, who played in his 300th game Sunday at Minnesota, appeared in his 262nd straight game to tie Denis Potvin for most among defensemen in Islanders history.

STATS

Hischier had an assist for the fourth straight game. ... Johnsson has three assists and eight points in his last eight games.

WELCOME BACK

Kyle Palmieri returned to Prudential Center for his first game since he was shipped from the Devils to the Islanders at last season's trade deadline. Palmieri, who spent six seasons in New Jersey, was actually here when the Islanders made a visit in the preseason, but that game was canceled due to a power failure in part of the arena. There was a video tribute for Palmieri during a stoppage in play in the first period, and the forward raised his stick to acknowledge the cheers.

ROAD WARRIORS

The Islanders played in the New York area for the only time during their season-opening stretch of 13 straight road games. Their new home at UBS Arena in Elmont, New York, is set to open Nov. 20. Several thousand Islanders fans were in attendance and cheering loudly for their team.

UP NEXT

Islanders: At Tampa Bay on Monday night.

Devils: Host Boston on Saturday to wrap up a three-game homestand.

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Follow Vin Cherwoo at http://www.twitter.com/VinCherwooAP

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Vin A. Cherwoo, The Associated Press

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