NY Islanders rookie Kyle MacLean accomplishes NHL family first with playoff goal

New York Islanders undrafted rookie Kyle MacLean keeps impressing us.

Originally a call-up in January to plug a temporary hole in the Islanders lineup, MacLean became an integral part of the team’s second-half success under Patrick Roy and proved up to whatever task the situation warrants. His emergence as a fourth-line center has allowed Casey Cizikas to occupy the left wing with Mathew Barzal and Bo Horvat.

With Jean-Gabriel Pageau out of the lineup after suffering a lower-body injury in Game 82, MacLean was asked to play an elevated role, centering the third line with Anders Lee and Pierre Engvall. All he did was go on to score a goal in his first Stanley Cup playoff game. MacLean was able to find Lee’s deflection and slide it past a scrambling Frederic Andersen at 8:20 of the 1st period to tie the game.

“Romy had a good keep at the blueline,” recalled MacLean about the goal. “Me and Lessy started heading to the net, he (Lee) had a good tip that I actually thought was going to go in, but it was kinda under him (Andersen) and we were kinda just jamming away and it squeaked through.”

With the goal, MacLean became only the third Islanders player, rookie or otherwise, to score a goal in their playoff debut, joining Ryan Strome (GM1 at WSH in 2015) and Dan Plante (Game 4 of 1994 vs NYR). He’s the first rookie to score a playoff goal since Oliver Wahlstrom did so against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of their 2021 first-round match-up.

MacLean also added to the growing list of things in common with his father, an Islanders assistant coach John MacLean. The elder MacLean also scored in his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut, which ironically came on Apr. 6, 1988, against the Islanders. The Patrick Division champion Islanders were upset by the fourth-seeded New Jersey Devils in six games.

They are the only father/son duo to accomplish the Stanley Cup Playoffs debut feat.