GOTTA SEE IT: NY Islanders Bo Horvat scores in home debut
There are many reasons why the NY Islanders acquired Bo Horvat, but one of the biggest reasons they acquired him was to score goals. His Islander debut was impressive when the Isles traveled to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers at Wells Fargo Center to get their regular season back underway Monday night after the eight day All-Star break. However, despite the impressive debut that saw chemistry already form between Horvat and Mathew Barzal, the 27-year-old center was held off the scoresheet. On Tuesday in the second leg of a back-to-back when the Seattle Kraken visited Long Island to take on the Islanders at UBS Arena, Horvat scored his first goal of the season as a member of the Islanders and his 32nd goal on the season.
Barzal working on the wing seems to be paying dividends already. The play starts with a faceoff in the Kraken's zone at the left circle. Josh Bailey took the draw with Horvat thrown from the faceoff dot. When the Kraken win the faceoff, the puck ends up below Seattle's goal line where Horvat makes an aggressive play, poking the puck away from Seattle's possession. Seattle's Yanni Gourde appeared to have picked the pick up along the wall, that was until Barzal made a nifty defensive play in the offensive zone himself, lifting Gourde's stick and stealing the puck away.
Horvat recognized Barzal's ability to retrieve the puck and quickly made himself readily available in an open position toward the right circle. Barzal, from the far wall, skates the puck he gobbled up from Gourde toward the slot, finds the open Horvat, and the newest Islander beat Seattle goaltender Martin Jones top shelf glove side to give the Islanders a 4-0 lead just over five minutes into the second period.
Horvat sampled what is going to be the first of many for Islander fans over the next eight-plus seasons. "Barzal to Bo" is a term we're going to hear often from Islanders play-by-play announcer Brendan Burke and Tuesday night was just the beginning.