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Islanders’ Simon Holmstrom answers Patrick Roy’s challenge

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

That didn’t seem like a coincidence, as he had been a healthy scratch in four of the previous five games.

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

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

Goal aside, this was one of the most notable games Holmstrom has played in a while.

After 13 minutes and 13 seconds of ice time, the 22-year-old often found himself in dirty areas.

His speed puts him on par with Anders Lee and Jean-Gabriel Pageau.

The four shots on goal were tied for the most in a season.

With Holmstrom back on the team with Hudson Fassing in the mix, Roy said he liked the young Swede’s practice before the game.

Coach Holmstrom said a few days ago that the series of scratches probably wasn’t the biggest surprise after only scoring once in March.

Islanders coach Patrick Roy Corey Shipkin of the New York Post

“I can say yes and no,” he told the Post. “That’s tough. You never know what’s going to happen. You can only control what you can, so you just try to do it.”

On Thursday, he took his destiny into his own hands and elevated himself, taking advantage of Anders Lee stealing the puck behind the net and firing a quick shot past Petr Mrazek for a 2-1 lead. did.

The resulting victory brought the Islanders one point away from 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 around,” he said later. “So you want to go out there and help the team. Luckily, we were able to get a big win.”

Roy then appeared to intend to keep Holmstrom on the team for Thursday’s must-win game against the Blue Jackets.

“I thought he scored a big goal for us and had a solid game with Paige and Under,” Roy said. “That’s the hockey he can play, that’s what he’s done and that’s what he’s given us. And no matter what, we need everyone until the end of the year. So, We have to make sure everyone is accountable every day on the ice, in games and practices.”

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

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