After falling in Game 5 8-0 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the New York Islanders needed to scrape up a win to prevent their Stanley Cup dreams from ending in round three. It was no easy task as Brayden Point was again a thorn in the Isles side by opening the scoring for Tampa and scoring his ninth straight goal in the first period of Game 6.
The hill became steeper for the Islanders in the second period when Anthony Cirelli pushed the Bolts lead to two goals. Having faced 12 unanswered goals from Tampa, it was time for New York to step up and put some pucks into the net.
“I mean I thought we were on top of our game, the start of the game too,” said Anthony Beauvillier in an interview with NHL Networks. “We’re doing the right things, we just knew we were going to get one and after that go from there.”
Jordan Eberle was the first to do so and began the comeback story for the Islanders that allowed them to push the game into overtime.
“You know they made it two nothing, and then the game teeters a little bit. If they make it three nothing then, you know, it gets to be daunting.” Said Coach Trotz.
In the third period, Scott Mayfield came down the wing and shot the puck over Andrei Vasilevskiy, top-shelf into the net tying the game at two. Furthermore, the Islanders finished the third period strong, continuously trying to push the puck in once more for a third goal that would secure a regulation win. Mathew Barzal and Eberle had a few more chances of their own, but could not push it past Vasilevskiy.
Time expired and the Isles found themselves in overtime after a hard-fought three periods. With not only the game, but the series looming on one goal to win it, Beauvillier stepped up to the plate 1:08 into OT and scored the game-winning goal to give New York a fighting chance to advance to the final round. Beauvillier has been pretty quiet against the Bolts so far this series, but this goal hopefully gave him some momentum moving into game seven.
After Game 3, Coach Trotz had this to say about Beauvillier’s play, “He’s a good player, obviously they’re playing him real tight…right now I think Beau has to find a way to fight for more inches,” said Trotz.
Looking back at last night’s goal, Beauvillier definitely fought for his inches. He scored through two defensemen off of a turnover he forced on Blake Coleman in the offensive zone. Centering himself out front of the net, he took the shot heard around Long Island sealing Game 6.
Now, the semi-final rematch is tied 3-3. Going into Game 7, the Islanders can not allow Tampa to get on the board first. In addition, converting on their power play chances is crucial as they have definitely struggled at 1/16 in the series. Having to play another game of catch-up in a Game 7 matchup is not the ideal spot for the Islanders. That being said, scoring first, often, and frequently is obvious and is better suited to succeed in order to reach the Stanley Cup Finals.
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Also Posted on nyislesblog.com