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Islanders’ Simon Holmstrom answers Patrick Roy’s challenge

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Simon Holmstrom played Tuesday night like he had something to prove.

After being eliminated in four of the previous five matches, it didn’t really seem like a coincidence.

“I want him to earn it,” coach Patrick Roy said after Holmstrom scored the game-winner in a crucial 2-1 win over the Blackhawks. “And that’s what he did.”

Simon Holmstrom celebrates with his teammates after scoring the deciding goal in the Islanders’ 2-1 win over the Blackhawks. Getty Images

Putting aside the goal for a moment, this was one of the most remarkable games Holmstrom has played in a while.

During 13:13 of ice time, the 22-year-old often found himself in the dirty areas.

His speed made things happen on a line with Anders Lee and Jean-Gabriel Pageau.

His four shots on goal were tied for a season high.

On bringing Holmstrom back into the fold, with Hudson Fasching out, Roy had said before the match that he liked the way the young Swede had trained.

Holmstrom, days before, said the streak of scratches might not be the biggest surprise after he scored just once in March.

Islanders coach Patrick Roy Corey Sipkin for the New York Post

“I would say yes and no,” he told the Post. ” This is a difficult question. You never know what will happen. You can only control what you can do, so just try to do it.

On Thursday, he took his destiny into his own hands and rose up, capitalizing after Anders Lee won the puck behind the net to unleash a quick shot that sailed past Petr Mrazek for a 2-1 lead.

The resulting victory brought the Islanders back to within one point of a playoff spot.

Simon Holmstrom celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal in the Islanders’ win over the Blackhawks. Getty Images

“It’s no fun sitting outside,” he said afterward. “So you want to be out there and help your team. Fortunately, we had a huge victory.

Roy, afterward, seemed inclined to keep Holmstrom in the fold for another must-win game Thursday against the Blue Jackets.

“He scored a big goal for us and I thought he had a solid game with Page and Ander,” Roy said. “That’s the hockey he’s capable of playing, and that’s what he did and that’s what he gave us. And we’ll need everyone until the end of the year, no matter what. So we have to make sure that everyone is responsible every day that we are on the ice, in games and in practices.


The Islanders did not practice Wednesday as they traveled to Columbus.

They enter Thursday with a nine-game point streak against the Blue Jackets (8-0-1) dating back to 2022.

New York Post

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