Islanders forward Kyle Palmieri, a Long Island native, has been a big part of the franchise’s success since he was acquired at the 2021 trade deadline. While he didn’t attend the 2019 UBS Arena groundbreaking, he certainly enjoyed some memorable moments.

Palmieri helped the Islanders reach Game 7 of the 2021 Stanley Cup semifinals against the Tampa Bay Lightning, including a dramatic overtime victory in Game 6, which was the first time the Islanders were in the finals. Last game at Nassau Coliseum. On November 20, 2021, he played in the historic opening game at UBS Arena when the Islanders hosted the Calgary Flames.

Now, as the Islanders prepare to take on the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, Palmieri is preparing to make history again. He will play in the first-ever playoff game at UBS Arena.

“It’s going to be incredible,” said Palmieri, who was born in Smithtown and grew up in Montville, New Jersey. “I was a part of the team during the playoffs that closed the (Nassau) stadium, and looking back, it was a great experience for everyone. I think it’s definitely going to be something you’ll pay attention to and really appreciate one of the things.”

Between a delayed building opening last season, a COVID-19 outbreak and injury woes, the Islanders stumbled through a frustrating 2021-22 season without making the playoffs. With that in mind, it took a while for UBS Arena to really feel like home to the Islanders and their fans.

Those special moments started happening next door at Belmont Park this season as the Islanders battled for a playoff spot, including Wednesday night’s 4-2 playoff win over the Montreal Canadiens. The sold-out crowd of 17,255 roared throughout the match, bursting with excitement in the closing seconds.

One would expect a similar atmosphere to playoff games at home.

“I know some players who have been here for a while really appreciate (UBS Arena) as our position,” said Palmieri, who ended the season with 16 goals and 17 assists in 55 appearances, Got 33 points. “Sometimes it takes some games and time to get that home feel, but the atmosphere was great the night before and I hope the first playoff game there won’t be any different.”

The first-round series against the Hurricanes will begin in Carolina, with Game 1 scheduled for Monday at 7 p.m. and Game 2 Wednesday night in Raleigh.

The first playoff game at UBS Arena is scheduled for Friday, April 21 at 7pm, while Game 4 is scheduled for Sunday, April 22 at 1pm in El Monte

After being swept by Carolina in the second round of the 2019 playoffs, the Islanders now have a chance to avenge their revenge and hopefully advance to a second-round game against the New Jersey Devils or New York Rangers. During the regular season, the Islanders went 1-3-0 against the Hurricanes.

In the playoffs, the Islanders knew they would face a challenge against the Canes.

“It’s going to be a fight,” Palmieri told Long Island after Friday’s practice. “Playing against them in the regular season, they’re always tough. They play fast, they play hard. I think these are two similar teams, and we’re excited about the challenge and we’re looking forward to it.”

It’s been an exciting spring for local hockey fans as all three local teams are in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2007. While the Islanders will take on the Hurricanes, Palmieri’s former team, the Devils, will take on the Rangers in their first “Hudson” game since 2012.

This is a special time for anyone in the area who plays hockey or loves it. Especially for Palmieri.

“It’s fantastic,” Palmieri said. “We are delighted to start a new chapter at UBS (Arena) and I know our fans are excited for it.”

New York Islanders left Anders Lee (27) is congratulated by center Bohovat (14) and center Kyle Palmieri (21) for their NHL hockey game on Thursday, March 9 Celebrating a first period goal near right wing Brian Rust of the Pittsburgh Penguins, 2023, Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Philip G. Pavely)

Above: New York Islanders center Kyle Palmieri, during the second period of an NHL hockey game in El Monte, N.Y., Saturday, March 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

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