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PHILADELPHIA — Lane Lambert wasted no time getting Bo Horvat on the ice, sending the newest Islander out for the opening draw on Monday night.
Horvat didn’t score in the 2-1 victory over the Flyers, but his line with Mathew Barzal and Josh Bailey had an all-around successful night, and both Horvat and Barzal spoke glowingly of playing with each other afterwards.
“He was great,” Horvat said of Barzal. “He’s got so much skill and he creates so much out there. I was trying to get the puck to him and get open. He was finding me, found me a couple times. We had some good looks.”
“I think we probably could have had three or four [goals],” Barzal said. “Some good possession time. Some good plays. It’s nice — every time Bo had the puck, I had confidence he was gonna make a good play and he did. And he won a lot of battles down low, got me the puck. I really enjoyed it tonight.”
In 11:31 of ice time, the top line outshot the Flyers 11-5 and had an expected goals percentage of 56.01. Horvat, who skated for 19:08, had four shots on net and six total attempts, including one that hit the crossbar. And he did so with “awful” nerves.
“I’m not gonna lie, I was really nervous tonight,” Horvat said. “The guys made me feel really comfortable and they were great. Obviously it feels even better to get that win, to get my legs under me. Hopefully feeling better here tomorrow.”
He did admit, though, that with his first home game Tuesday against the Kraken, the nerves were unlikely to dissipate.
“It’s gonna be exciting,” Horvat said. “I’m really looking forward to it.”
Noah Dobson (lower body) and Hudson Fasching (lower body) were both back in the lineup on Monday, with Fasching activated off injured reserve. No one was sent down, meaning the Islanders are currently carrying a full 23-man roster.
Dobson picked up his 100th career point on an assist to Barzal 8:18 into the second period.
“I thought he played well,” Lambert said. “Clearly he hasn’t played for a while so there was always gonna be some little stretch to get back into it, but I thought he was good.”
Kyle Palmieri has now scored points in five straight games.
Alexander Romanov’s wife, Sofia, gave birth to a daughter, Olivia.