Anthony Beauvillier is known among Islanders fans for his excitement and his ability to put the puck in the back of the net. With 63 of his 120 points being goals, Beau knows goals. Heading into the Islanders’ matchup with the Dallas Stars on Feb. 4, only one of those goals had come in overtime.
In the extra session of that game, Beauvillier snapped a breakaway chance over the shoulder of Ben Bishop to give the Islanders a 4-3 win. It was his second goal of the game and it came as a result of good defense and forechecking from his teammates. Let’s break it down.
This play begins with Stars pressure in New York’s zone. Josh Bailey makes an extra effort near the blue line to push the puck off of Joe Pavelski’s stick and out of the Islanders’ zone. A tired Bailey headed to the bench, changing in favor of a fresh Beauvillier. Mattias Janmark sent the puck back to Ben Bishop as he and Esa Lindell changed near the Islanders’ blue line. Pavelski skated back towards his own zone, opposite the benches, for a pass from Bishop.
As Pavelski turns to send a pass to a fresh Tyler Seguin cutting across the ice from the bench, Brock Nelson, someone who had been out for a long time and probably should have changed, pressured and made him turn it over. He then slid the puck into the middle of the ice where Beauvillier could grab it in stride. With no one near him, Beauvillier picked up the puck, skated in on Bishop and picked the corner on his blocker side.
Giving it your all in overtime is an important part of winning hockey games. Despite the long shift, Nelson challenged Pavelski to create a turnover. This goal would not have been possible without his effort. Beauvillier was the recipient of a breakaway and made no mistake on the play. Continued efforts like these will contribute the New York getting on a roll and starting a winning streak.
Beauvillier has five overtime points since Barry Trotz took over as head coach. His speed and skill are perfect for the 3-on-3 setting while his shot is underrated. All of these tools will be crucial down the stretch as the Islanders will need every extra point they can get in the tight Metropolitan Division playoff race.