Patrick Roy’s power-play changes immediately pay off for Islanders

Patrick Roy had declared a few days earlier that he did not plan to upset his power play units, despite their difficulties.

Obviously something has changed.

The Islanders took a new five-on-four approach on Tuesday and quickly saw it pay off, with Mat Barzal feeding Bo Horvat behind the net to score a goal on their first power play opportunity in the final game 2-1. defeat the Blackhawks.

Bo Horvat celebrates his goal in the Islanders’ 2-1 win over the Blackhawks on Wednesday. Corey Sipkin for NY POST

“I think it’s important to have two different looks,” Roy said. “And on a night, if the other team does a good job of stopping us, we have the other unit that can score the goal. I think this gives us two very good weapons.

The top unit still featured Barzal and Horvat, with Noah Dobson leading the way. But Casey Cizikas was in front of the net with Jean-Gabriel Pageau in the slot.

The second unit still featured Mike Reilly up top and Ryan Pulock on one of the half walls, with Anders Lee in net.

But Brock Nelson and Kyle Palmieri left the top unit to give things a little more balance.

“It was a little different, I guess, for Brock and Palms to be a part of that unit,” Roy said. “But I thought if we could practice a little bit, I think they would feel more and more comfortable.”

Islanders center Bo Horvat (14) celebrates his goal with the team in the third period on Tuesday.
Islanders center Bo Horvat (14) celebrates his goal with the team in the third period on Tuesday. Corey Sipkin for NY POST

As always, the chemistry between Barzal and Horvat – who also started the evening on the same line for the first time since mid-Mach – was evident.

“I can’t believe he chose to play his backhand there,” Horvat said of the assist. “I was hoping he would give it to me sooner and then he passed everyone and luckily I stayed in the right place. You just had to insert it from there.

Simon Holmstrom rejoined the lineup for Hudson Fasching after being left out for four of the last five games and scored the game-winning goal at 9:25 of the third.

“I want him to earn it,” Roy said. “And that’s what he did.” He scored a big goal for us and I think he had a solid game with (Pageau) and Anders (Lee).

Robert Bortuzzo also replaced Sebastian Aho after playing six games in a row, with Roy saying the Islanders wanted to give Bortuzzo a day off since he was recently injured.

Ilya Sorokin earned his first win in six starts, making 18 saves.

New York Post

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