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Beauvillier, Nelson Quickly Becoming Game Changers for Islanders

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Anthony Beauvillier and Brock Nelson

Going into the Qualifying round the Islanders knew they would need their top-six forwards to produce. They certainly got that from Anthony Beauvillier and Brock Nelson in Game 1 against the Florida Panthers.

Along with Josh Bailey, Beauvillier and Nelson were the Islanders’ most effective offensive threat in the 2-1 win on Saturday afternoon. Nelson and Beauvillier had a combined nine shots on net, and when you add Bailey the trio accounts for 12 of the team’s 28 shots on goal.

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“I thought we had a good training camp. We were moving the puck really well,” Beauvillier said about the chemistry. “Just trying to feed off each other. Two, obviously really good players in Bails and Nelly. Really smart players, can make plays, shoot the puck and they’re good at creating space for others guys on the ice.

“Just trying to feed off of them and it’s been working well for the last few games.”

Beauvillier’s second-period goal — and eventual game-winner — came on the power play, but the second line had plenty of opportunities five on five as well.

Bailey set up Beauvillier for a scoring chance later in the second period after the power-play goal. In the closing minute of the period, the Islanders were able to transition the other way and give Beauvillier and Nelson a two on one chance.

Beauvillier set up the chance for Nelson perfectly, but Florida netminder Sergei Bobrovsky was able to slide over and make the pad save.

Nelson forced Bobrovsky to make another tough save in the final five minutes of the game.

The performance was an extension of what was seen on Wednesday against the New York Rangers. That line and Beauvillier in particular stood out for the Islanders. The 23-year old forward had a team-high four shots on net and also scored in the exhibition win.

The Islanders saw plenty of chances from Beauvillier, Nelson and Bailey on Wednesday and three wanted to keep that going into Saturday.

“We want to play fast and attack,” Nelson said about his line. “Kind of dictate the chances and the flow of the game. Also, be responsible defensively. I thought our line did a pretty good job. Up and down the lineup guys were out there playing hard on their toes. Aggressive and we had quite a few chances.”

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