The Upshot: NY Islanders gain ground in playoff race with 2-1 win over Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks v New York Islanders
Chicago Blackhawks v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages


Bo Horvat and Simon Holmstrom scored in the third period as the New York Islanders came from behind to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 at UBS Arena on Tuesday night. Ilya Sorokin, who had lost his previous six starts, was solid in net for the Islanders (33-27-15) and stopped 18 shots for the win. Jason Dickinson scored the Blackhawks goal on a feed from Connor Bedard in the rookie’s first game against the Islanders. It was Bedard's team-high 37th assist. Petr Mrazek made 27 saves for the Blackhawks (22-48-5) in the loss.


Simon Holmstrom drew back into the lineup for Hudson Fasching and had an excellent all-around game—that was before he scored the game-winning goal. “It’s no fun to sit out, so you want to be out there and help your team, and we got a huge win,” Holmstrom said after the game. Patrick Roy said he told Holmstrom he wanted to see him earn playing time, and he did exactly that on Tuesday night.

Ilya Sorokin didn't need to be spectacular, but was solid in net and can use this game to boost his confidence looking ahead to the final seven games of the season. Following this performance, it will be interesting to see if Roy goes back to Sorokin on the road against Columbus or if Semyon Varlamov, who had been responsible for the team's previous nine points will get the start.


As nice as it was to see the team come from behind in the third to win the hockey game, they need to find a way to get the offense into gear. There aren't too many teams they would've beaten with than offensive output, and they were fortunate to get a power play opportunity early in the third period that they converted on Horvat's goal, which turned the momentum of the period and game.


The Islanders won their first game on the backend of back-to-backs this season in their final opportunity of the year. The team was 0-6-3 before Tuesday's night's win, which was only their third win of the season when trailing after two periods, which is tied for the fewest in the league.


A couple days after his 92nd birthday, the hockey maven, Stan Fischler was on hand at UBS Arena to sign books, take pictures and take in the islanders game in style.


The Islanders are in Columbus on Thursday night hoping not to hear the cannons fire. Face-off against the Blue Jackets is scheduled for 7:00 PM EDT.