- Bringing it back to the beginning of the season, the Islanders came out hot against the New York Rangers as they took them down in the first of their matchups, 4-0. After that, however, the games became a back-and-forth grab as both teams have fought for the season series win.
With that, following the 4-0 win, it was surprising to see the boys fall just two days later 5-0 against the Blueshirts. As these games were still early into a late-starting season, it was predicted that it would take the Isles time to find their rhythm and start clinching those back-to-back wins that they need, especially now as playoffs approach.
Before last night’s matchup, the Islanders were holding just that as they beat out the Rangers in a 3-2 OT win on April 11th, then followed it up on April 20th with an impressive 6-1 victory. A major factor behind their success is Anthony Beauvillier.
You would think Beauvillier has a personal vendetta against the Rangers the way he threw points up in that particular game. Beauvillier earned himself four points on a goal and three assists. That trend continued last night, as he found his way onto the scoresheet for the third goal of the game, receiving a pass from Scott Mayfield, and firing a shot past the side of Shesterkin into the empty slot. The tally made it 21 points in 20 career games for Beau versus the Rangers.
That puck movement off the faceoff – SMOOOOOOTH pic.twitter.com/gblI2xh7qy
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) April 30, 2021
With the Rangers battling their way into a playoff spot and after a poor performance the other night against the Washington Capitals, the Isles needed to push themselves even harder last night to get some momentum behind them and rise past their previous faults.
“A lot of people were poking holes at the Islanders the last couple of days because we did not get it done against the Caps, but this is a proud group, they knew what was on the line and they played that way,” said head coach Barry Trotz in a postgame interview.
For one thing, the Isles managed to dominate the offensive zone more as they finally led a game in shots on goal. It became a theme lately to see them walk off the ice having lost with few shots registered, but on some occasions, pulling out a win. This is because they are one of the best teams at creating high-danger chances in front of the net and managing to convert on them. Add that to the fact that they led in this category last night and you have exactly what you would predict. A high-scoring game that in turn, limits their opponent’s scoring chances.
“We were connected in all three zones and we just stayed with it,” stated coach Trotz, “I like the fact that we did not deviate the whole game and we were hard to play against. It was probably frustrating for them and it was our game.”
Looking towards May 1st, the last of the two teams’ matchups this year — and the last regular season contest ever at Nassau Coliseum— one of two things can be predicted. One, the Rangers are hungry for two points, as they still have a slim chance of making the playoffs.. In that case, it could be a tight tilt for the Islanders. Or, the Isles do exactly what they have done for the past three games: dominate in front of the net, convert on their chances, and take home another big victory.
Either way, it’s important the Islanders come out on top with a big two points to solidify their spot in the postseason.
Follow Bri on Twitter @RepettoBri