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Kulemin enjoys moment in the sun
25 2015 .  By Mike Zeisberger, Toronto Sun

UNIONDALE, N.Y.   - Nikolay Kulemin isnt accustomed to playing the role of hero, but he certainly grew into it on Saturday afternoon.

Playing in just the second post-season of his NHL career, the former Maple Leaf scored the decisive goal and, perhaps, the final winning goal ever recorded by an Islander player at Nassau Coliseum in a 3-1 New York victory over the Washington Capitals, forcing a Game 7 in the best-of-seven first round series.

The Isles are moving to Brooklyn next season, so a Game 7 loss means there will be no more Islander contests in Uniondale.

Asked if his deke of Caps goalie Braden Holtby at 10:33 of the third period was the biggest moment of his career to date, the normally reserved forward flashed a big smile.

Maybe I have a lot more ahead, he said wryly of the goal, which snapped a 1-1 tie.

Kulemins only previous taste of NHL post-season hockey came in 2013 against the Bruins while he was a member of the Leafs.

Its always fun to play in the playoffs, Kulemin said. Its only happened once in Toronto. I had a great time in that series against Boston.

Its a new team for me now. Ive turned the page. Its a great atmosphere and there are great guys on the team.

Ex-Leafs Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski inked identical four-year, $36.75-million US deals last summer with the Islanders. Grabovski missed a chunk of the second half of the season with concussion issues, but returned to the Islanders lineup in Game 5.

Isles oach Jack Capuano liked what he saw from both players on Saturday.

We knew when we signed them that they had a history together, Capuano said. I was very pleased with how they played.

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