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Islanders Top Penguins, 5-4, to Finish Regular Season



The Pittsburgh Penguins closed out their 2023-24 season with a 5-4 loss to the New York Islanders at UBS Arena Wednesday night.

Islanders winger Simon Holmstrom broke a 4-4 tie when he scored from inside the left circle at 14:27 of the third period, and New York goalie Ilya Sorokin denied Sidney Crosby on a penalty shot with 29.5 seconds left in regulation to preserve the lead.

The Penguins finished with a 38-32-12 record, 23-14-4 at PPG Paints Arena and 15-18-8 on the road. That was good for 88 points, three fewer than in 2022-23 and their lowest total in an 82-game season since since they recorded 58 in 2005-06.

Rickard Rakell (his 15th), Evgeni Malkin (27th), Valtteri Puustinen (5th) and Jeff Carter (11th) scored for the Penguins.

Crosby capped an exceptional season by assisting on the Malkin and Carter goals to raise his team-best points total to 94.

Goalie Alex Nedeljkovic made his 13th consecutive start for the Penguins, who went 8-2-3 during that stretch. Nedeljkovic stopped 27 of 32 Islanders shots, giving up goals to Brock Nelson, Casey Cizikas, Kyle Palmieri and Samuel Bolduc, as well as Holmstrom.

Carter, 39, confirmed after the game that he is retiring. At the end of the third period, Islanders players had lined up to shake hands with him, and he was honored as the game’s No. 3 star.

The Penguins will hold their Breakup Day, which includes players’ exit interviews and their final media availabilities of the season, Thursday at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. Kyle Dubas, the team’s president of hockey operations and general manager, is scheduled to speak with reporters there Friday.