UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Well there isn’t a better time to get your first goal of the year than in a big moment, and that’s what Anthony Beauvillier did for the New York Islanders on Thursday against the Boston Bruins.
Beauvillier broke a 2-2 tie in the third period and opened up a five-goal third period as the Islanders defeated Boston 7-2. Mathew Barzal, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Anders Lee, Adam Pelech, Jordan Eberle and Oliver Wahlstrom each scored in the decisive victory.
Semyon Varlamov made 34 saves in his ninth win of the year, which helped the Islanders capture sole possession of third in the East Division.
“In a lot of ways, the Bruins are the gold standard, especially in the East,” Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said. “It’s a big win because it’s something we want to stay in the pack. You sit out a night and don’t play and fall out of the playoffs and have a chance to play Boston and a very good team and win… it’s just a big mess of teams that are very equal in terms of talent and the standings. This can be a battle right to the end so any points we can get, we’ll take.”
Thursday marked the third time the Islanders have defeated Boston on home ice and it was only Boston’s fourth regulation loss of the season. Three of those four regulation losses have come at the hands of the Islanders.
The win was the seventh time ever that the Islanders had scored seven or more goals against Boston in a single game. The last time it occurred was an 8-4 win in 2003.
“The Bruins play a similar style, they’re detailed,” Eberle said. “You kind of have to stick with it and wait for a bounce. That’s what happened.”
Beauvillier kicked off the scoring parade at the 5:41 mark of the third. Beauvillier shot the puck and had it stopped, but the tenacious forward swooped in and picked the pocket of a Boston player. He then backhanded a shot past Jaroslav Halak to put the Islanders up 3-2.
The goal was Beauvillier’s first regular-season goal since Feb. 17, 2020.
We'll take that lead please pic.twitter.com/eYtRyaLOtD
— Isles on MSG+ (@IslesMSGN) February 26, 2021
“Love seeing him smile,” Barzal said about Beauvillier’s goal. “He loves scoring so whenever he gets one that’s definitely a big boost for the bench.”
The Islanders’ offense kicked things into gear after the Beauvillier goal. Eberle gave the Islanders a two-goal cushion just over five minutes later when he scored on the odd-man rush.
Barzal charged into the zone with Eberle on his wing. Eberle buried his chance over the glove of Halak.
Pageau made it 5-3 at 12:24 of the third when he scored on a shorthanded breakaway and Lee poked home a loose puck at 14:44 to make it a 6-2 game. Wahlstrom capped off the night with his second goal of the year at 16:33.
“Our guys and the offense just found ways to bury the pucks and take advantage of the few opportunities we had,” Lee said.
The offensive outburst in the third contrasted how the game started with the Islanders giving up the first goal of the game. Nick Ritchie gave Boston a 1-0 lead 1:02 into the opening frame.
Thursday was the third time this season that the Isles had won after giving up the first goal.
The Islanders evened up the score at 3:16 off Pelech’s first of the season and then Mathew Barzal gave the Islanders the 2-1 advantage off a hard wrist shot that went by the glove of Halak.
The mans can play
— Isles on MSG+ (@IslesMSGN) February 26, 2021
Craig Smith tied the game at two at the 11:36 mark of the second period.
While Thursday’s win was a monumental one for the Islanders, they did suffer some loss in the game. Cal Clutterbuck exited the game with an injury and did not return to the ice.
Trotz did not have an update on Clutterbuck after the game, but he did not seem overly concerned that it would be a long term issue.
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