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Bo Horvat nets 1st Islanders goal in 4-0 rout of Kraken

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Islanders Kraken Bo Horvat Mathew Barzal
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

ELMONT — The wait for Bo Horvat’s first goal with the New York Islanders wasn’t all that long, after all. Neither was the impact he has on their offense. 

In his second game with the team since being acquired by the Vancouver Canucks and signing an eight-year extension, Horvat got on the scoresheet for the first time in an Islanders beatdown of the Pacific Division-leading Seattle Kraken, 4-0, on Tuesday night at UBS Arena while serenaded by chants of “HOR-VAT” from the home faithful.

“It was pretty amazing,” Horvat said of his home debut. “I haven’t had a chant like that in a building that loud I don’t think ever.”

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New York’s first line showed a flash of what it’s capable of with 5:08 gone in the second period when Mathew Barzal found an open Horvat in the left circle, who placed a one-timer in the top corner for his career-high 32nd goal of the season and a memorable first for his new team. 

“I finally took a deep breath after that one,” Horvat said. “Definitely felt even better to get the win after that, made it that much sweeter. I know I can’t stop at one. I’ve got to keep it going.”

It wasn’t an easy finish, either, which further showed just how lethal of a finisher the newest Islander can be. Barzal picked off a puck in the Kraken zone before wheeling a bouncing pass toward Horvat. 

In what he described as “picking it,” rather than attempting a smooth follow-through, Horvat got under it and was able to sent it home. He explained that the bouncing puck actually helped him to lift it, but Barzal didn’t share such an outlook.

“I didn’t give him a great pass,” Barzal said. “I gave him a bad puck and he buried it. It’s almost a relieving feeling to know he’s a goal scorer and he can hit those and he has a really good knack for goal scoring.”

Horvat’s tally made it a four-goal game, coming just 1:30 after Zach Parise deflected Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s wrister 3:38 into the middle 20 to provide a rare offensive outburst.

The Islanders (27-22-5, 59 points) had gone 13 of its previous 14 games without scoring more than two goals and hadn’t scored four in a game since Jan. 3 against the Canucks.

They’ve now won four straight games after losing 10 of 11 and appear to be heating up at a time of dire necessity. New York remained tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins, who defeated the Colorado Avalanche in overtime on Tuesday night, for the final Eastern Conference Wild Card spot. 

“Things change in a hurry,” Parise said. “Hopefully getting four tonight will lead to a little moer of an outburst on the offensive side.”

Islanders Kraken
New York Islanders’ Zach Parise (11) and goaltender Ilya Sorokin (30) celebrate with teammates after an NHL hockey game against the Seattle Kraken Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, in Elmont, N.Y. The Islanders won 4-0. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The Islanders scored two goals in the first — the first time since Jan. 21 against the Carolina Hurricanes they scored multiple goals in a single frame to get in the driver’s seat early. But the assist, which came from fellow defenseman Scott Mayfield, proved out to be the 100th point of his career in his 400th career game. 

Samuel Bolduc scored his first career NHL goal to open the night’s scoring when his wrist shot snuck through a forest of legs and under Kraken goaltender Martin Jones at the 7:59 mark.

“It feels amazing. It’s something I’m sure I’ll never forget,” Bolduc said. “Especially at home with the fans behind you. It’s something I’ll never forget.”

Simon Holmstrom doubled the Islanders’ lead with 1:31 to go in the first when he capped off a relentless shift from the third line, receiving a pass from behind the net by Pageau before roofing it over Jones.

NOTES

  • Ilya Sorokin recorded his fifth shutout of the season and the 15th of his young career with 31 saves against Seattles, moving him into sole possession of fourth place in franchise history past Tommy Salo despite appearing in just 113 games.
  • Ryan Pulock joined Scott Mayfield in the 400 games played club for the Islanders, making them the 51st and 52nd skaters in franchise history to reach that mark.
  • Defenseman Alexander Romanov was announced as a scratch just before puck drop due to personal reasons, allowing Bolduc to get the start and ultimately, his first-career goal.
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