UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Who said the New York Islanders were having trouble scoring goals?
The Islanders unloaded for six goals on Tuesday night in a 6-1 victory over the New York Rangers at the Nassau Coliseum. Josh Bailey scored twice, marking his first multi-goal game of the season and the first time he’s done so since March 23, 2019.
Brock Nelson, Jordan Eberle, Anthony Beauvillier and Jean-Gabriel Pageau also scored in the Islanders drubbing of their Manhattan rivals. Beauvillier finished the night with four points ( one goal, three assists), which was the first time he’s done that since Nov. 15, 2018 against the Rangers.
“They’re all big,” Bailey said about the win. “Tonight for sure, the Rangers have been playing pretty well and had been climbing up the standings. We wanted to push them down.”
The 6-1 win was the first time that the New York Islanders had scored six or more goals in a game since April 1, when they beat the Washington Capitals. 8-4. Sunday was also the first time the Isles had scored more than one goal since they had three against the Rangers on April 11.
“We stayed with our game. We got to our game,” Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said. “We just played the right way. We stayed on top of people. … We just put the work in.
Trotz added: “It was a committed effort by everyone. I liked our whole game.”
The New York Islanders had struggled to score during their recent stretch prior to Tuesday night. They had only scored a combined two goals during their three-game road trip and had scored more than one goal only twice in their previous seven contests.
“They don’t always come easy,” Pageau said. “Especially at this time when teams are starting to make a push and we’re trying to keep our spot. But through all this adversity, we’re very adjustable. We came out tonight as a brotherhood and when the puck was dropped, we showed what we had.”
The win helped the Islanders pull into a tie for first place in the East Divison with Washington. They also maintained some distance in front of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who were also victorious on Tuesday.
Semyon Varlamov made 25 saves in the win for the Islanders.
Bailey broke a scoreless tie late in the first period when he scored his seventh of the year. The Islanders forward made a rough drop pass, but the Islanders managed to keep the puck in the net. A smart play by Anthony Beauvillier found Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who in turn set up Bailey in front for the goal.
It was Bailey’s first goal since April 1 against Washington.
Nelson nearly made it 2-0 with an impressive drive to the net in the closing seconds of the first. Nelson snuck through the Rangers defense, but his shot attempt just missed the net as the horn sounded.
Nelson would find the back of the net early in the second period when he deflected the puck past Shesterkin for the Islanders’ second goal of the night. Nick Leddy sent the puck towards the net and Nelson was able to get his stick on it to sneak it by the Rangers starter.
Brock Nelson to make it 2-0!
— Islanders Videos (@SNY_Islanders) April 21, 2021
Beauvillier added a goal of his own with the Islanders on the man-advantage at 5:45 of the middle period to make it 3-0. Noah Dobson went to pass the puck down low and it was deflected by a body in the slot right to Beauvillier for the easy goal.
“It’s just one of those nights where everything seems to go in and you just have to enjoy them and move forward afterward. It’s nice, especially when you’ve been struggling a little bit,” Beauvillier said.
The Manhattanites managed to cut into the Islanders’ lead later in the middle frame. Kevin Rooney was able to get one by Varlamov for the Rangers’ only goal of the game.
The Islanders recaptured their three-goal lead 7:44 into the third period when Pageau found the back of the net. He buried a one-timer from the slot to make it 4-1.
Stop. Score. Roll. pic.twitter.com/s82bKcun25
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) April 21, 2021
Bailey beat Shesterkin with a shot from the slot at 10:16 for his second of the game and Jordan Eberle scored just over a minute later to put the Islanders up 6-1.
Bailey returned to the Islanders lineup on Tuesday after missing two consecutive games with an undisclosed injury, while Cal Clutterbuck remained sidelined with an undisclosed injury. Bailey took the spot of rookie Oliver Wahlstrom.
Noah Dobson was back in the game after Trotz opted to bench him in favor of veteran defenseman Braydon Coburn on Sunday. Trotz had said he needed to see more from his youngster, who are going through the grind of an NHL season for the first time.