Islanders welcome back fans, beat Devils for 7th straight win


New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) tries to score against New Jersey Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood (29) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 11, 2021, in Uniondale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

UNIONDALE, L.I. — Matt Martin and Adam Pelech scored first-period goals, rookie Ilya Sorokin made 19 saves and the New York Islanders welcomed fans back to Nassau Coliseum by beating the New Jersey Devils 5-3 for their seventh straight win.

The first-place Islanders are 12-0-2 at the arena this year, and this win came with 1,000 frontline workers in the stands.

They were the first fans at Nassau Coliseum since March 7, 2020, five days before last season was suspended due to the pandemic.

Noah Dobson, Josh Bailey and Brock Nelson also scored for the Islanders. Sorokin won for the fifth time.

Jack Hughes, Mikhail Maltsev and Janne Kuokkanen scored for the Devils, who lost their 10th game in their last 12.

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