Islanders’ own “French Connection” were outstanding in first round series win

The Islanders are moving on to the second round after beating the Pittsburgh Penguins in an entertaining six-game series. They had all hands on deck in the clincher last night, scoring five goals and not succumbing to the relentless pressure from the Pens especially when they emerged with a two-goal lead.

A few players can be looked at for the Isles’ opening round performances as the reason why the Isles advanced, but their own French Connection — J.G. Pageau and Anthony Beauvillier — in particular were tremendous from the outset. Pageau and Beauvillier tied for the team lead in points for the first round with seven.

Both were responsible for huge goals and made key plays throughout the series. Pageau’s flutterer past Pens netminder Tristan Jarry in the third period of game one tied the game and helped set in motion the Isles titling the ice the rest of the contest and into overtime before Kyle Palmieri’s game-winner. A majority of his club-leading six assists in the series were secondary helpers, though they all came when the team needed it the most. Pageau was also excellent in how he was able to combat Sidney Crosby and some of Pittsburgh’s other weapons.

“If you look at the two trade deadline acquisitions, last year Pageau, this year Palmieri, they’re veteran guys that are proven,” Barry Trotz said after game one. “When it comes to playoff hockey, in big moments you rely on their experience, their character is exceptional.”

As for Beauvillier, I had written yesterday that he just finds another level in the postseason. Throughout this series — and truly in the last three games — he was exceptional. The argument can be made Beauvillier was the Islanders’ best forward in the opening round. Not many would disagree. Pittsburgh’s defense had no answers for him with his speed and sneaky style.

Beauvillier saved his best for last night with a three-point performance that included getting the game tied early and assisting on Brock’s Nelson two goals. Both which I might add were gorgeous.

“Beau is a great player,” Nelson said of his linemate after the game. “Playoffs is a different animal. It might not always be your night, but we always talk about the depth we have in here. Different guys can get it done in getting us momentum or winning us a game.”

The connection between Pageau and Beauvillier and their ability to thrive in the playoffs isn’t even new.  Actually it began before they were in the bubble last summer when they were linemates. That continued early on in the Isles’ run before the two settled into their second and third line spots respectively. But even on different lines in this past series, the two were dominant in their own different way.

Now with the Boston Bruins posing coming next, the Quebec natives will have their hands full once again. It should be pointed out though that Pageau was great against Boston in the regular season with eight points in eight games. So he could very well be the x-factor going in. That’s something to think about when the two teams most likely start their series this weekend.

But for now, people can reflect on his and Beauvillier’s fantastic showing against the Pens.

Travis Zajac had to wait his turn to get back into the lineup last night, and boy he made most of it. If not for his goal-saving play on Kasperi Kapanen late in the first period, the Islanders don’t get to the end of the first period tied. His crucial faceoff win set the stage for Ryan Pulock’s rocket which turned out to be the game-winner and made it two goals in 13 seconds to give Isles the lead.

Said Zajac after the win: “I’m here to help any way I can and be a part of it any way I can. Like everyone else, when my name is called you have to go in and do the right things and play winning hockey, control what you can control.”

Islanders’ Anthony Beauvillier proving once again the playoffs are his time

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Anthony Beauvillier is thriving in the playoffs for the Islanders.

In the Isles’ current first round series with the Penguins, Beauvillier has been one of the better forwards for an Islander team that has struggled to generate offense consistently. According to Natural Stat Trick, Beauvillier ranks fourth among Islander forwards in GF/60 (Goals For) at even strength and is second on the team in HDCF/60 (High Danger Chances For) in the postseason. The 23-year-old has registered a point in all but one contest — the 2-1 game two loss in Pittsburgh — going into the possible clincher tonight. His goal on Monday night was a thing of beauty and showed how much confidence he’s playing with again on the postseason stage.

Beauvillier’s ascension in the playoffs seems to becoming an annual ritual especially the last two years. Last summer in the bubble, the QC native was one of the talks of the league with his performance over the first three rounds. Beauvillier would finish the Isles’ run with 14 points in 22 games, good for fourth behind Mathew Barzal, Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey. He cooled off a bit in Conference finals, but Beauvillier’s excellent play had his trajectory pointing upward and earned him a reputation as a speedy, relentless player.

Entering this season, Beauvillier was looked upon to take that next step as a consistent threat coming off that solid postseason. Getting hurt early in the season threw a wrench in those plans. And it wasn’t until the final few weeks of the regular season that playoff Beau began to come out again. He ended the season on a hot streak going 7-6-13 in the final 11 games. That strong finish has now transferred over to the first round, and the Islanders have reaped all the benefits from it. “When you have a big piece of the game, you have lots of confidence,” Head Coach Barry Trotz has said of Beauvillier. “When you have a big positive effect on any game, you feel good about your play.”

Beauvillier’s line too with Nelson and Bailey, whom was responsible for two of the team’s three goals in game five, has picked up the slack as the team’s first line has struggled during the series.

The playoffs seem to bring out a more focused, more intense Beauvillier. It even goes back to his days in the QMJHL with Shawinigan. The year after following the Isles drafting him 28th overall, Beauvillier recorded 30 points in 21 postseason games leading the Cataractes to the President’s Cup, where they were defeated by Rouyn-Noranda in five games.

Beauvillier continues to be one of most vital players for the Islanders to be successful in the postseason. Now with an opportunity to move on to the second round for a third consecutive years, the Isles will need him to keep playing the way he has. After all, he is showing once again why the playoffs are his time to shine.

Not since 28 years ago have the Islanders been able to clinch a postseason series on Nassau Coliseum ice. They will have that chance tonight in front of 9,000 screaming fans.

The Isles have won a series on home ice in the last five years, but that came at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center when John Tavares scored in double OT in game six against the Panthers.

Tonight might just be a little crazier than that evening. The atmosphere should be electric.

Anthony Beauvillier kicking it up another gear at right time for the Islanders

The last two nights in Buffalo will probably be forgettable for the Islanders come this time next week. Defensive lapses, blown leads, making Sabres’ netminder Michael Houser look like Patrick Roy at times all made for a tough watch. One positive — yes there was those despite the results — that might come out of it though was the play of Anthony Beauvillier.

Beauvillier had a goal last night and an assist in Monday night’s game, giving him five points in his last four games. He was the Isles’ most engaged forward in the latter of the back-to-back by a far margin. The second-line stalwart led the Islanders with seven shots.

Beauvillier took it upon himself to be in charge of the offense in the absence of number-one center Mathew Barzal. Barzal was given a rest by head coach Barry Trotz after he had bad game on Monday and to get him in the right mindset for the postseason. “Mat is a good pro, Trotz said in the postgame. “He’s going to be a big part of what we’re doing. Just want to get him in the right place, feeling good so he’s a good player for us in the playoffs.”

Barzal being at the top of his game will be crucial if the Islanders want to go on another deep run, but Beauvillier is in that category too. He’s one of the club’s most important forwards with his speed and skill, two qualities the Isles desperately lack. We saw the impact he had last year in the postseason when his game is elevated. Beauvillier was one of the talks of the league with how he performed the first two rounds in the bubble. How the 23-year-old is playing of late proves he’s finding that next gear again as this postseason approach.

The chemistry Beauvillier has formed with Josh Bailey is starting to really come alive, and it goes beyond their dismantling of the Rangers. That relentless mentality without the puck and knack for the net, has too returned. Beauvillier has also picked up the slack with Brock Nelson, Jordan Eberle and others still struggling to score. All of these things are a sign that Beauvillier is already in “playoff mode”.

That matters. The Isles as a whole have shown in spurts over the past few weeks they are finding that style, but it hasn’t come in a consistent manner. They have three more games to really lock in. Beauvillier is above the rest at the moment. And if he’s locked in — and we all know his past troubles with being consistent — that should be a shot in the arm for his teammates.

This season has been another up-and-down ride for Beauvillier. He was hit with injuries early on and it took him some time to get going. But it seems he’s found that swagger in his game once again. With that higher gear, he’s dangerous and the Isles are a far-better team because of it.

Interesting to hear that Barry Trotz wasn’t as upset with how the Isles blew another two-goal lead for a second night in a row. On a regular occasion, that might have meant a tongue lashing, but the situation is different. The Isles already are in the postseason, and the coach just wants his defense to get right with bigger games coming.

Nice game for Cal Clutterbuck on Tuesday night. Clutterbuck had been struggling for the past couple weeks before he recorded a goal and assist. The fourth line hasn’t been themselves too as of late, so maybe Clutterbuck getting off the snide sparks that trio again for the final three contests.

A game like last night could be another launching point for Islanders’ Anthony Beauvillier

Once in a hockey season, there’s always a game from somebody that makes you go “Wow”. That was Anthony Beauvillier’s four-point game last night in the Islanders’ 6-1 smashing of the New York Rangers. It was the kind of showing that Isles fans have come to know from the one they call Beau whenever he sees the Blueshirts on the opposite side.

Beauvillier now has 20 points in 19 games against the Rangers in his career and two four-point nights on his ledger, the other a couple seasons back in a 7-4 Isles win in November 2018. More importantly, Beauvillier had his best game of the season when his team needed it the most, as the Islanders’ offense had gone cold the previous three games on their road trip. The newly-formed line of he, J.G. Pageau and the returning Josh Bailey caused mayhem from the drop of the puck. The three combined for nine points as a unit.

“Everything I touched seemed to go in,” Beauvillier said after the victory. “Those kind of nights, you just try to appreciate it and go from there. I thought our line and the whole group was really going well tonight. It was one of those nights where you just try and take advantage of it and appreciate it.”

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The Islanders and their fans had been waiting for a night like the one Beauvillier had a majority of this season. This season hasn’t been great for #18 after he was tremendous in the bubble last summer. Expectations had risen that Beauvillier was going to breakout as a star this year, but those quickly dissipated when he got off to a slow start which compounded with him getting hurt in the fifth game at New Jersey leading to him missing ten games. Beauvillier has struggled to regain that consistency, but now with ten games left in this truncated campaign, maybe his dismantling of the Rangers lights the fire that launches him forward the rest of the season, meaning the return of the playoff-version of him.

In the past after Beauvillier has a strong game, he usually follows it up with more solid play and production. The Isles next three games against the Caps could be what decides the top spot in the East division, so there’s no better time for Beauvillier to really bust loose. And with the playoffs on the horizon, momentum heading in for any player can be crucial. We saw it first hand when Beau and the Isles returned to play before entering the bubble.

Beauvillier was a monster against the Rangers. It could be the turning point that now flips the switch for him the rest of the season and even further.

It’s happened before. Hopefully, it does again.

Matt Martin made it crystal clear that if you take a run at him, expect him to come right back and do the same. Last night, Jacob Trouba learned that lesson first hand after Martin throttled him and knocked him out of the game not even 20 seconds after Trouba went after him early on in the first period.

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If not for the shellacking the Isles laid on the Rangers, what Adam Pelech did to Kevin Rooney would have been mentioned way more. Pelech schooled the Rangers’ forward in the defensive zone which left the Coliseum crowd oohing and ahhing.

Pelech didn’t record a point in the victory, but he sure as heck left his mark on a terrific game from he and his entire squad.

Anthony Beauvillier finding his game is key for the Islanders down the stretch

When the Islanders take on the Flyers this evening it will be their 31st game of the season. Anthony Beauvillier, their second-line winger, has played in 21 of those 31 games and produced a very disappointing six points (two goals and four assists).

It’s been a quiet campaign for the 23-year-old after his standout performance for the Isles in the bubble postseason. But an opportunity has now arisen with forward Anders Lee now sidelined for the rest of the season. I explained yesterday how Lee’s missing leadership could be replaced, with Mathew Barzal being a worthy choice. From a production standpoint, it’s Beauvillier who needs to pick up the slack.

Beauvillier — whose gone pointless in his last six games — is a key part of the Islanders’ top-six and what makes that second line of he, Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey go. But it’s been a struggle for him so far this season. As said he’s got only six points but both his goals and assists rank towards the bottom of the team. That possible dip in points could be associated with his setback earlier this season and missing nine games. Enough time has passed though since his return to where he should be showing more consistency.

Playing in a top-six spot, the QC native has been expected to produce as such.

“I think he’s a player that has a high value in knowing he’s an important piece to our team,” head coach Barry Trotz said a few weeks back regarding Beauvillier. “He’s a contributing player and I think he values that and he has a sense of responsibility that that’s part of what he does for us.”

This year was also supposed to be where Beauviller took that leap forward and solidify himself as a true top-six NHLer. Old habits — the tendency of being inconsistent — which have followed Beauvillier since his career has crept into his game again. This is the kind of trend that can’t continue if the Islanders are going to continue to want to be successful the rest of the way. It also doesn’t bode well for Beauviller who is slated to be an RFA at season’s end and for many who have projected him to be looking to get a nice raise in the $4-4.5 million range.

The Isles’ offense has proven this season they are a balanced attack. Receiving an extra boost from Beauvillier can give them another dynamic. Not only that, he producing nightly will take some of the heavy liftings off of Barzal, Jordan Eberle and several other forwards.

The Islanders enter the hardest portion of their schedule starting now. And the time has arrived for Beauvillier to find that level to his game again that had the rest of the league buzzing about him being a potential breakout star entering this year.

There should be no discussion needed for the Islanders as to what the task at hand is tonight. The team is coming off their first loss after their nine-game winning streak was snapped Tursday night in Washington in an uncharacteristic effort. But they are also facing an opponent in Philadelphia which was humiliated last night at Madison Square Garden.

Take it from Casey Cizikas who put it perfectly what the Isles need to be ready for.

“They’re coming off an embarrassing loss so they’re going to come out strong and they’re going to come out hard and you’re going to see a different team than you saw last night,” he said this morning.

 

New York Islanders: Predictions for the 2021 season

 Anthony Beauvillier , New York Islanders

The New York Islanders season finally begins tonight after a 3-month layoff since their last game. I just want to say what a great job the NHL has done handling Coronavirus. Not a single league, other than maybe the UFC, has handled COVID-19 better than the NHL.

Back to the Islanders. This 2021 Islanders team is basically the same team as the 2020 team, but it feels different. With additions of Ilya Sorokin and other 3rd liners. The development of Noah Dobson, Oliver Wahlstrom, and Kieffer Bellows. This team, on paper, looks better than the 2020 team, even without Devon Toews. Hockey is finally back, and with a new season comes new predictions.

Top New York Islanders predictions for the 2021 season:

Mat Barzal Bounces Back

It’s weird when a pro-athlete scores 60 points in 68 games, and it’s a down year. But this just shows how talented Mat Barzal really is. My biggest critique of Barzal at one point was the fact that he never shot the puck. Barzal would always pass it to someone who was covered instead of taking an open shot. Barzal only took 170 shots last year, he needs to take around 220 in a full season. But then the playoffs came, and he finally started shooting the puck. And when a dangerous player gets the puck on the net, good things happen. With a good backcheck and some more effort on defense, it looks like Barzal could become a top center in this league.

Anthony Beauvillier Leads the Team in Goals

This is somewhat of a bold prediction due to the goal scoring talent at the center position. Brock Nelson, JG Pageau, and Mat Barzal are normally the ones who lead the team in scoring. But, there’s something undeniable in the way that Beauvillier plays. He’s a baby flame who’s just getting ready to scorch the whole house. With linemates like Josh Bailey and Brock Nelson, there’s a big possibility that this can happen.

Adam Pelech gets in the Norris Trophy Race.

Adam Pelech has been the Islanders’ best-kept secret for the longest time. Pelech is probably the most underrated defenseman in the entire league. I would go as far as to say that Pelech is the most important player on the team. The Islanders slumped so terribly when Pelech got hurt the Isles went 10-13-7 and let up around 3 goals a game. But, when Pelech’s healthy, they went 25-10-3 and let up only around 2.5 goals a game. If the Norris trophy actually focused on defense, Pelech would’ve won it by now.

Ilya Sorokin Wins the Calder

The rookie of the year goes to the 25-year-old Ilya Sorokin. There’s actually zero doubt in my mind about this. The only thing that may be holding him back is the fact that Varlamov is the starter. Sorokin was the best goalie outside of the NHL. Now that he’s here, I don’t know if anyone can stop him.

A next-level Anthony Beauvillier would solve a big problem for the Islanders

As the Islanders forge full steam ahead towards their season opener next week, there continues to be a lot of chatter about what we will see from an offensive standpoint this season. The Isles are basically sticking with the same forward corps they’ve had the past two years.

That group in recent years has been inconsistent at best with scoring goals having been hard to come by. Much of that narrative has been based on them not having a true goal-scoring threat.

Enter Anthony Beauvillier. He could be the answer to that problem if he has a monster season.

Beauvillier, 23, is entering this season with high expectations after he opened a lot of eyes with his sensational run in the postseason last summer where he recorded nine goals and five assists. He’s also coming off a solid 2019-20 regular season where notched 18 goals and 38 points prior to the season being shut due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think I’m ready to take the next step in my game,” Beauvillier told reporters via Zoom yesterday after he reportedly helped combine for three goals during the team’s first scrimmage of training camp.

Hearing those words should be music to Isles fans’ ears who have concerns about the offense.

Beauvillier has continued to evolve with each passing season, but it’s always been that consistency which has kept him from skyrocketing to that upper echelon. We also know it’s clear that he has an underrated scoring touch.

The last two seasons Beauvillier has totaled 36 goals. Before that in 2017-18, he recorded a career-high 21.

So obviously the potential for 25-30 is there, even in the season only being 56 games this year. And let’s be honest, if the Islanders can’t get that type of production from Anders Lee or Jordan Eberle, they will be in big trouble. They just don’t have the horses in their corps. Hence why Beauvillier turning into their missing sniper would really add a huge boost to the offense.

“I want to be a better player, a more consistent player and want to be a big part of this group, Beauvillier added. “It’s been like that for a couple years now and I just have to do it. It’s a little bit time for me.”

A lot of the Islanders’ success this year will hinge on guys like Beauvillier. He’s without question the club’s third-most important forward behind Mathew Barzal and Nelson and it’s crucial that he turns into that scorning threat he was in the playoffs and was projected to be when the organization drafted him 28th overall in 2015.

It would be huge for Beauvillier and the development of his career. More so, it would provide some huge reassurance for a quality that the Islanders have been lacking for so long.

The whole Mathew Barzal contract dispute has taken hold of the Islanders as they get set for the season to begin. So many people have chinned in on the situation — which could be solved any day now — but “Spittin Chiclets” Paul Bissonnette’s take might have taken the cake.

Saying the way “Barzal plays isn’t necessarily fun” in the Isles’ system and that’s why he should continue to holdout — its been confirmed it’s not that but just Barzal unsigned — is a doozy.

That system has gotten Barzal to the postseason two years in a row now and within an earshot of playing for the Stanley Cup.

If that’s not fun, then what is?

Josh Bailey scoring goals will never get old, even in training camp. Neither will his goal song.

 

 

Anthony Beauvillier’s postseason was huge win for him and the Islanders

 Anthony Beauvillier , New York Islanders

One thing Anthony Beauvillier has always tried to do is have fun.

The New York Islanders’ forward wrote those exact words on his stick for every game played during the team’s run to the Eastern Conference Finals. But Beauvillier didn’t just jot down that message for the sake of doing it. No, he actually lived by those words in the playoffs. And it was a joy to watch.

“I think it’s more mental, it’s confidence,” Islanders’ head coach Barry Trotz said about the 23-year-old during the postseason.

Beauvillier’s breakout performance — 14 points in 22 games — attracted a lot of attention, and not just from the locals. He became a household name in the playoffs. Most of it came early on in the bubble where he was the driving force in the Islanders steamrolling their way to the Conference semifinals. But it was clear throughout that the fourth-year pro had found a new level to his game.

“Anthony has grown is he understands that he can contribute in so many different ways, even if it’s not on the score sheet. What happens is he ends up having a more complete game, more productive and he’s not in his own head regarding production. I think that’s one of the things that a lot of young players have to get over so they can have success in this very demanding league. I think that’s where his growth has been,” Trotz added about Beauvillier.

For Beauvillier personally, this was probably the best time for him to have the postseason he did.

At 23, he’s still hasn’t even reached so-called “veteran” status, let alone his prime. He’s still a very young player in this league and very much an unfinished product. Then there was the debate as to whether or not he is a true top-six forward or just a player who is more suited as a middle-six piece. That’s not even up for discussion anymore.

Beauvillier is a top-end forward.

Heading into next season too, Beauvillier’s got a ton of momentum on his side to where he can truly become an elite player in this league and a big-time contributor for the Isles.

Speaking of the Islanders, Beauvillier’s two-months of strong play signaled he is indeed one of the key assets to this current core which is not far off from a Stanley Cup. The fact remains: he’s needed here long-term past just next season, where he will be a restricted free agent again.

Beauvillier’s come a long way from before this season began, where questions still remained about how he would fit in this year after he struggled under year one of Trotz.

Not only that, he showed he can be a reliable goal scorer and can perform in key situations.

There’s 30-goal potential in Beauvillier whether people still can’t see it. He’s already notched 21 tucks and 18 twice in his career. The Islanders too, who are still in a search for that proverbial sniper. And as much as that search has began already both internally and externally, Beauvillier has made it clear he could be the one to possibly take that role. Beauvillier’s ability to step up — his relentless forecheck and consistency — as each game got more important also was a telling sign of his growth.

This postseason told us a lot about the Islanders as they look to take the next step. It told us a lot about Beauvillier, who rose to the occasion and never took his foot off the gas.

His fun helped the Isles go deeper than they had in 27 years. That was a victory on its own.

But overall, it was Beauvillier himself and the team who were the bigger winners of it all.

 

 

 

 

New York Islanders: Team Awards Part 1 (Hart Trophy)

New York Islanders, Brock Nelson

The New York Islanders‘ season is officially over. And as sad as it is to hear that for Isles fans, the team took a huge leap this year. There aren’t questions on if the team can make a deep run, but the question is how far now. The Hart trophy is the trophy given to the MVP of the NHL. There is no one on the team who was in contention for the award, but team awards still exist. I will include playoff performance here as well. So, without further introduction, let’s see the winner and runner-ups of the Hart Trophy for the Isles.

Brock Nelson

Brock Nelson was the best player on the Islanders this year, so he takes home the Hart trophy. He finished on 5 points behind Barzal in the regular season. Nelson possesses the best shot on the team by far, and he’s arguably the best two-way forward as well. Nelson’s forechecking is absolutely phenomenal, it’s what makes the 2nd line so dangerous. His playoff play wasn’t superb, but scoring isn’t everything. Nelson is the best shooter, 2nd best faceoff guy, a great penalty killer, and one of the most dangerous weapons the Isles have.

Mat Barzal

I only have to say this once, but when Mat Barzal learns to shoot more, he will win the Art Ross trophy year after year after year. Barzal is outright deadly when he shoots; the problem is, it’s sporadic. Barzal had to be triple-teamed against the Lightning, and still, he got by every one. He’s the best passer in the NHL. He’s one of the fastest skaters in the NHL. The best part is, he’s only 23. The Islanders have a gem in their hands who can become one of the very best very soon.

Anthony Beauvillier

There was a point in the offseason where I said, “there’s no reason for Beau to get resigned; he’s not going to develop soon enough.” Wow, did he prove me wrong. Beauvillier always was the guy for the Islanders all throughout the season. His forechecking is unmatched by anyone. He’s the 2nd fastest player on the team. Beau’s shot has improved vastly; it used to all be just five-hole shots, now he can pick his corners. He’s insanely smart with the puck and creative off the puck. Beau produced tons of memorable moments for the Isles, especially in the playoffs; it’ll be awesome to see him continue to grow.

New York Islanders: 3 Stars of the Game 3 Win

Semyon Varlamov, New York Islanders

The New York Islanders have made the Eastern Conference Finals a real series. Game 3 was easily one of the most entertaining games of the 2020 playoffs. The Islanders played their hearts out, and it shows. A mix of desperation and frustration led them to clutch out the win. There were three stars that led the Islanders to victory last night. Their efforts did not go unrecognized, and honestly, I believe three stars are too little to show how good the Isles played last night. But, without further ado, here are the three stars of the night.

Semyon Varlamov

Amazing is almost an insult to how Semyon Varlamov played last night. Varly single handily kept the Islanders’ hopes alive. There were 3 or 4 sequences from the Lightning last night that should’ve been goals, but Varlamov stood on his head. I don’t know what changed for Varlamov from the regular season to the playoffs, but he’s just been fantastic. Even though he did let in 3 goals, there was a possibility it could’ve been 6. The Isles fans are 110% behind their outstanding goalie.

The 4th line

I have to include the entire 4th line here because, oh my god, what a game they played. J.G. Pageau was acting like a goon out there, and he’s a foot shorter than every other player. Not only did Pageau play like an enforcer, but he got an assist on the beautiful Adam Pelech goal and scored the empty-net goal. Don’t forget about the line clearing brawl at the end of the game. Victor Hedman had to save Kucherov from Pageau. Matt Martin continued his hot streak and played amazing defense. Great forechecking as well, as always, and he clocked Barclay Goodrow in the back of the head six times. Sydney Martin has got to be proud of her husband. Also, can’t forget about Cal Clutterbuck sniping Vasilevskiy to open up the scoring. 4th line looked amazing even without Casey Cizikas playing.

The “B” line

When the “B” line gets hot, it’s normally “goodnight Jim Kite.” Josh Bailey had two assists last night as he continues his quest for the Conn Smythe. Anthony Beauvillier scored last night on a beautiful play from Brock Nelson. Not only that, but Beauvillier assisted Nelson’s game-winning goal with a beautiful turn around pass. Brocktober came early Isles fans. Brock Nelson was in prime form last night and would win the game for the Isles. The second line continues to be dangerous.

Honorable Mention

Also, as an honorable mention, what a game for Adam Pelech. Pelech scored his first career playoff goal, so congratulations to him. It was a total snipe, and it got all the Islanders fans excited. Especially the #pelechposse created by Jake Basile (a.k.a. @BathtubJake on Instagram). Pelech was thumping too, a bunch of big hits for the big man. Great game from a shutdown defenseman.