BOSTON — Here was the sort of flash the Islanders had been waiting for from Oliver Wahlstrom.
He skated up with speed.
He saw two defenders, one’s hips turning the wrong direction.
He split them, got the shot off, roofed it.
That is a hell of a way to score your first NHL goal in 333 days.
“It felt really good,” Wahlstrom told The Post on Wednesday. “I like to play a skilled offensive game and get my shot off. That was the plan and it worked out.”
The eventual 4-2 loss to Minnesota on Tuesday, with Wahlstrom back in the lineup on Mat Barzal’s wing — a by-product of Bo Horvat’s injury — was the best Wahlstrom has looked this season coming off a season-ending knee injury last December.
It looked like the best version of Wahlstrom: skilled but physical, and aggressive on both ends of the ice. Even pre-injury, that version of him only showed up inconsistently, but was enough to make the Islanders believe in his potential.
“A goal-scorer needs to score goals,” coach Lane Lambert said. “And when he does, he feels good. What I liked about his game [Tuesday] night is he was hard, he was assertive. For lack of a better term, he just worked. And he got rewarded for it.”
Whether that is enough to keep Wahlstrom in the fold if Horvat comes back against the Bruins on Thursday remains to be seen.
Simon Holmstrom and Hudson Fasching, the two most likely candidates to come out of the lineup, have worked well together on the third line with Jean-Gabriel Pageau.
Matt Martin, who has usually played just single-digit minutes, skated just 5:29 on Tuesday — but scratching him would mean breaking up the fourth line, which has played well.
In any case, this is a problem the Islanders are happy to have on their hands.
“That was a good game for sure,” Wahlstrom said. “We got 68 more of them, so you can’t dwell on the good games. You gotta move forward now.”
Horvat traveled with the team to Boston, with Lambert continuing to call him day-to-day after missing Tuesday’s game.
Adam Pelech sat out Wednesday’s practice with maintenance and will travel to Boston.