For a moment it felt like Anthony Beauvillier was going to be the GOAT on Monday evening. And no, not the good kind.
Right off the bat to start a critical Game 5, the Islanders found themselves behind once again to the Bruins with Beauvillier being the culprit. He was harassed and outworked behind his own net by Boston’s Brad Marchand which led to a turnover and eventually David Pastrnak smoking one by Semyon Varlamov to give the B’s a 1-0 advantage.
The rest of the first stanza was a forgettable one for Beauvillier and his squad. Despite those struggles, the Isles found themselves even once the period ended after Mathew Barzal’s power play dart over Boston’s Tuukka Rask shoulder.
Then the second began and Beauvillier would awaken. The Islanders would find pay dirt three times in the frame with Beauvillier grabbing assists on two of them. His first helper — a secondary assist — helped regain the Isles the lead late in the second. Beauvillier won a 50-50 battle off a dump in and circled around the Boston net to the opposite corner before feeding J.G. Pageau a wicked pass who then fed Josh Bailey who buried it one past Rask.
“Anthony Beauvillier made a great play, good poise,” Bailey said after the game. “I just tried to get lost. [Jean-Gabriel Pageau] made a heck of a play, too. I found myself alone and I just missed one the shift before, so that one felt good.”
— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) June 8, 2021
That middle frame had to feel good for the forward with how he’s struggled to produce in the series so far. Beauvillier hadn’t tallied a point since game two and had some golden chances to score in games three and four at the Coliseum. He’s still yet to have a goal in this round too after registering four redlights in the series against Pittsburgh. But Monday night, it felt like we were again watching that Beauvillier we saw in the opening round.
He wasn’t hesitant. He was hard on and off the puck. And he was using his speed and creativity to cause havoc. The perfect example was on Brock Nelson’s tally early in the third to make it a three-goal lead. It was a classic Beau shift.
What a shift by Anthony Beauvillier. What a finish by Brock Nelson! pic.twitter.com/bikqggUUUg
— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) June 8, 2021
That fifth goal turned out to be extra crucial as it later turned out to be the game winner in a 5-4 Islanders win. Beauvillier playing a major role just goes back to everyone pulling the rope and how that equals to the Isles’ continued success.
“We found a way to win. Good teams do that,” said Jordan Eberle. “We have a lot of character in this locker room and a lot of guys who have battled with each other for the last three years throughout the playoffs.
Beauvillier’s big game and stat line after Monday’s victory now has him atop the team lead in points this postseason with 11 (four goals, seven assists), as if we shouldn’t be surprised. It has become commonplace to see the so called team’s energizer bunny take it up another notch on playoff stage. Beauvillier came in firing on all cylinders going into the playoffs and he’s thriving once again.
On this night though, the start of the game for him wasn’t probably what anyone envisioned. But true to his relentless nature, Beauvillier flipped the switch and was lights out the rest of the night.
The Isles now lead their best-of-seven series with the Bruins 3-2 and will have a chance to close it out Wednesday night at Nassau Coliseum. They can thank Beauvillier for playing a huge part in that with how he rebounded.
Follow Rob on Twitter at @RTaub_