Bo Horvat did something on Friday night that he hadn't done in his first 32 regular season games with the New York Islanders - that's have a multi-goal game. Horvat did it nine times for the Vancouver Canucks before he was traded to Long Island on Jan. 30. At the time, he was one the top goal scorers in the league, but scored just seven goals in 30 games for the Islanders after signing an eight-year extension before his first game with the team.
Horvat scored from a bad angle at 6:10 of the second period to tie the game at 3-3 off a deceptive feed from Noah Dobson who faked the shot and then fed Horvat just above the goal line. He was able to bank the shot off of Devils' goaltender Akira Schmid for his first of the season.
Then, late in the third, with the Islanders trailing by a goal and having pulled Ilya Sorokin for an extra attacker, Horvat came through, crashing the net and finding a loose puck to tie the game.
"I was coming in late, Palms made a great play to just put it on net, and that's what happens when you do, said Horvat. "It kinda just spit out there, and Barzy made a nice play to get his stick on it, I just tried to throw in there, and luckily it went in, it was a big goal."
We're still waiting for Mathew Barzal and Horvat to really click as a pair together, though there have been promising signs early in the season. What continues to be worth watching is who will be playing besides them as Anders Lee was inserted back to that spot, and Simon Holmstrom was moved down to the JG Pageau line as the third line struggled throughout the game.
While we wait for that to get squared away, Friday night was a great sign for Horvat, who talked about being more settled into his overall situation heading into this season and openly admitted he had to be better and be relied on for goals this season.
“I'm proud of the way our group responded,” Horvat said after the 5-4 overtime loss. “Obviously to get a point out of that is definitely huge, but I think our execution was a little off tonight. Happy to get that point, and we're going to have a big game here coming up tomorrow.”