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New York Islanders

Rosner Report: Anthony Beauvillier Shows Positive Signs, but Needs to Do More

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Anthony Beauvillier

New York Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier has not been an offensive threat this season and missing nine games due to an injury didn’t help his cause.

Beauvillier returned to the lineup earlier this week and showed flashes of what had made him so successful last season, but he didn’t pick up any points in his first two games back. It was a lower-body injury that Beauvillier suffered in the Islanders 2-0 loss to New Jersey on Jan. 24 that shelved the 23-year-old forward for nine games.

Prior to that, Beauvillier had recorded just one assist in his first five games, and more worrisome was that he had only four shots on goal over that span.

When Beauvillier returned on Tuesday, he was slotted alongside Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Oliver Wahlstrom on the third line. Michael Dal Colle had played strong in his absence alongside Brock Nelson and Jordan Eberle and head coach Barry Trotz elected to keep them together.

Anthony Beauvillier had a shot on goal and one hit in 16:31 in his first game back against the Buffalo Sabres. he was even on the ice for Pageau’s goal in the first period, but didn’t register any point on the play.

Tuesday wasn’t an eventful game for Beauvillier, but it had been good just to see him back on the ice.

On Thursday was when we started to see glimpses of what Beauvillie had showcased last season, particularly in the playoffs. Beauvillier again found himself starting the game on the third line.

Right from the opening draw, Beauvillier’s speed was on display. Despite mishandling the puck early, he regrouped to make a strong play to get the puck out of his own zone. In his second shift of the hockey game, he recorded his first and only shot on goal and forced Pittsburgh netminder Tristan Jarry to make a nice save with the shoulder.

In the middle frame, Beauvillier was invisible. The Islanders were often shorthanded which kept Beauvillier from really getting into the game much. He was only able to see 2:36 of ice time in the second period.

However, there was one play that stood out in that small window of opportunity. After the Islanders’ top line was pinned in their zone for a long shift, Beauvillier used his strength to get the puck out of his zone. This play allowed his team to make a wholesale change.

That would be all for Beauvillier in the second period.

Despite the Islanders allowing two goals in the final frame, Beauvillier showed more life and created chances out of nothing at certain points.

Trotz did move Beauvillier back to the second line with Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey during the third as well. The three were dominant forces in the postseason last year, but had failed to recreate that so far this season before Beauvillier’s injury.

This time around Beauvillier showed more energy and intensity. He also went to the dirty areas looking for deflections.

The second line reunion was shortlived and Beauvillier did end up back on the third line before the game was over.

After 60 minutes, Beauvillier saw 13:22 of action and finished with one shot on goal and two hits (Tuesday he played 16:31). The Islanders had three power-play opportunities on Thursday, but Beauvillier didn’t see any time on either of their power-play units. Beauvillier had been on the second power-play unit before his injury.

He didn’t receive any power-play minutes on Tuesday either.

Looking at some advanced stats, the Islanders recorded 60 percent of their shots while Beauvillier was on the ice. He was also on the ice for 40 percent of the Islanders’ scoring chances.

Anthony Beauvillier is one of the Islanders’ better offensive players when he is on his game. However, like many Islander forwards, he is a streaky individual. Once he gets comfortable and builds up chemistry with whowever he is put with the goals will start to come.

Like we have seen in years past, and in the playoffs, once one goal enters the back of the net, they usually come in bunches for him. Until that happens, he needs to skate hard each shift and put more of an effort at getting pucks on goal.

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New York Islanders

BARZILLION REASONS TO BE EXCITED: Mathew Barzal Goal Leads to Isles Offensive Explosion

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Mathew Barzal

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Mathew Barzal still hadn’t seen a clip of the eye-popping goal he scored on Saturday when MSG Network’s Shannon Hogan had asked him to rank it after the game. The Islanders star took a deep breath before saying he’d likely put it at the top, but that he’d need to go back and watch it.

“Don’t worry you will see it all over social media,” the beloved Islanders TV reporter answered back.

There’s no doubt Mathew Barzal will have little trouble trying to find a clip of the play to watch. The goal 3:51 into the second period helped spur the Islanders to a 5-2 win over Buffalo and extend their control of the East Division.

Mathew Barzal masterfully got by defenseman Rasmus Ristolaomem to reach the front of the net and then maneuvered the puck on his stick in a way that only a wizard might be able. All of that occurred before he put the puck through his legs and then past Carter Hutton.

“There’s a lot of instincts and just kind of being in the moment and just reacting,” Barzal said about the play.

While the flash and style of the goal was something to behold, more importantly, what it did was help jumpstart the Islanders after a slower start to the game than they would have liked. The team pushed back on the idea that they had a sluggish start, but regardless the goal from Barzal kicked off an offensive firestorm.

WATCH: Mathew Barzal Posterizes the Buffalo Sabres During Tying Goal

It was less than two minutes later that Nelson gave the Islanders the lead.

“These are hard games. These are playoff games every night,” Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said. “It does muster a lot for players, but events can help. But it comes internally with players. We have a real good locker room and obviously when a guy like Barzy scores a big goal. I thought Scotty Mayfield scored a real big goal for us tonight off a hard work goal.”

The Islanders did successfully have contributions from up and down the lineup, but what helped get them to that point was the play of Barzal at that moment.

“Pretty nice goal I have to say,” Cal Clutterbuck said. “He’s got special ability that’s for sure. Just an all-encompassing goal. A lot of speed, great edgework, great awareness in tight on the goalie. Just a great goal and it gives us a goal and draws us even. Allows us to play our game.”

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New York Islanders

BUFFALO GRILLED: Four Goal Second Leads Islanders to Win Over Sabres

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New York Islanders Win over Buffalo

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — The New York Islanders erased a 1-0 deficit with a four-goal second period on Saturday to defeat the Buffalo Sabres 5-2.

Mathew Barzal’s highlight reel worthy goal kicked the offensive output in the middle frame, which saw Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck and Scott Mayfield also find the back of the net during the second period. The Islanders’ four goals in that period came on just nine shots against Buffalo, which was limited to only five in the second.

“Barzy scoring that goal and the way he did it that lit a little bit of fire in us,” Anders Lee said. “We knew we played a solid first. I think they just jumped on us in that first shift and we kind of stuck to our game. Nelly followed that up, great play from Beau, and Casey and Clutter’s line. I think we just had a flurry after that and kind of stuck with it the rest of the night.”

The New York Islanders have defeated Buffalo in eight straight meetings, as well as eight consecutive games on home ice. Saturday was the second game in a row that the Isles defeated Buffalo by a score of 5-2.

New York has outscored Buffalo 19-7 through five games against one another this season.

“Sometimes you have periods that are like that, sometimes we have better periods and they don’t go in,” Clutterbuck said about the second. “Just have to stick with it and trust that once and a while you’re going to have those periods.”

The Islanders win helps extend their hold on first place in the East Division, pulling two points ahead of the Washington Capitals and three points ahead of the Boston Bruins. New York took possession of the division on Friday night after Washington fell to Boston 5-1.

Semyon Varlamov made 20 saves in his 11th win of the year.

Barzal’s SportsCenter Top 10 worthy goal came 3:51 into the second period. The New York Islanders star was able to beat Rasmus Ristolainen and then stickhandle the puck in front of the net before putting it past Carter Hutton, who made 24 saves in the loss for Buffalo.

The goal helped extend Barzal’spoint streak to three games.

“I mean it all happened pretty quick,” Barzal said about the goal. “I know he’s coming over to play me there and it’s kind of a rolling puck, so I just tried to put it to an area that he can’t get his stick on or something. Once I Knew I Kind of had body position I kind of felt him a little off balance. Took it to the net and I knew we were so far ahead of the play that I probably had a little bit of time.

“It’s kind of a move you do instinctually and kind of just mess around with it in practice.”

Less than two minutes later Nelson broke the short-lived tie with his seventh goal of the year. A wrist shot from the slot beat Hutton over his shoulder to put the Islanders ahead 2-1.

The onslaught continued at the 8:45 mark of the second when Clutterbuck scored from the slot to put the Islanders ahead by two. A cross-ice pass from Adam Pelech to Matt Martin hit off Martin’s skate and then went right to his stick, where he was able to quickly feed Clutterbuck down low.

The final goal of the second period came at 15:29 when Mayfield scored off a cross-ice pass from Casey Cizikas to make it 4-1.

Buffalo did cut the Islanders’ lead back down to two when Sam Reinhart scored 52 seconds into the third period, but Anders put the Islanders back ahead by three with his team-leading 11th goal of the year at 2:15 of the final period.

Saturday’s win was the fourth time this season that the Islanders have won after giving up the game’s first goal.

Buffalo was first to jump on the board on Saturday afternoon. Jacob Bryson flung the puck at the net from the half-wall and the shot got by Varlamov 33 seconds into the game.

The goal was Bryson’s first in the NHL.

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New York Islanders

WATCH: Mathew Barzal Posterizes the Buffalo Sabres During Tying Goal

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Mathew Barzal

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Mathew Barzal showed why he is the New York Islanders star player on Saturday afternoon.

The 23-year-old had the goal of the year to tie the game at one at 3:51 of the second period. The Buffalo Sabres couldn’t hold the puck in the Isles end and Barzal was able to chase down the loose puck into the Buffalo Sabers end.

Mathew Barzal masterfully outmaneuvered Rasmus Ristolainen to get to the front of the net, where Barzal then showed off his puckhandling skills to beat Buffalo netminder Carter Hutton and tie the game. The goal was Barzal’s ninth of the season and he picked up his team-leading 21st point of the year.

The goal helped kick off a four-goal second period for the Islanders. They led Buffalo 4-1 when the second period had come to a close.

The Islanders forward has lived up to his end of the bargain this season after signing a three-year, $21 million contract extension in January. Barzal has become part of a youth movement on Long Island, with the success of rookie Oliver Wahlstrom and Noah Dobson.

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