The Upshot: Bo Horvat scores first goal as a NY Islander in 4-0 shutout of Kraken
HOW IT HAPPENED
After enduring a poor stretch of games since the beginning of January, the NY Islanders earned their fourth straight win against the Seattle Kraken Tuesday night, shutting them out 4-0 at UBS Arena. The Islanders played a complete 60 minutes and never let off the gas that all started with a deceiving wrist shot from Samuel Bolduc, his first career NHL goal. Simon Holmstrom made it 2-0 with about 1:30 to go in the second period as he was left alone in front of Martin Jones who he beat high, glove side. J.G. Pageau recorded two assists on the night, the second of which being a shot deflected by Zach Parise. The highlight of the day was of course Bo Horvat sniping home his first as an Islander, off a beautiful assist from Mathew Barzal no less to make it 4-0 and seal the game before the end of the second.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Tuesday night's game will most likely be remembered for Horvat getting a standing ovation from the Isles faithful, but what should not be overshadowed is the near-perfect performance by Ilya Sorokin in goal. He stopped all 32 shots he faced in the win, and if not for some very impressive saves the score may have been much closer than it was.
The line combinations did not look out of place at all against Seattle, which was a huge inconsistency during the Islanders' long stretch of losing. Horvat has slotted in nicely as the first-line center with Barzal and Josh Bailey as his wingers and has all developed solid chemistry after just two games. This has also caused other players to move down in the lineup and stay where they fit in better, examples being Holmstrom and Parise on the third line and Hudson Fasching on the fourth line. These lines all played responsibly on defense too, limiting the Kraken's high-danger scoring chances to just 22.2 percent, while on offense having 77.8 percent of the high-danger opportunities at 5-on-5.
WHAT WENT WRONG
The Islanders didn't do too much wrong against Seattle in a well-rounded winning effort. The Islanders did not score on their only power-play attempt of the game, but neither did the Kraken. The Isles also kept up with their recent trend of not scoring in the third period, the complete opposite of how the beginning of the season went, but then again a win is a win.
STATS OF THE GAME
- According to Eric Hornick in The Skinny, Samuel Bolduc is the second Islander whose first NHL goal turned out to be the game-winner; Simon Holmstrom did so in Vegas in December.
- Brock Nelson extended his point streak to a career-high eight games, the longest point streak by an Islander since Mathew Barzal had a nine-game streak in 2021-22.
- Both Scott Mayfield and Ryan Pulock played in their 400th game; they are the only Islanders defensemen to play every game this season.
SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME
As stated above, Horvat received a standing ovation from fans after scoring his first goal as an Islander in front of a packed crowd. A very memorable welcome in his first game on Long Island.
The Islanders will stay on the Island and await their next matchup on Thursday against Horvat's former team, the Vancouver Canucks. Puck drop is at 7:30.