Anthony Beauvillier is counted upon to be one of the Islanders’ more productive forwards. He has only five goals this season, but he’s now scored two straight overtime winners.
"It’s a privilege to be out there in overtime," Beauvillier said after the Islanders remained perfect in five games against the Bruins with a 4-3 overtime victory on Thursday night before a crowd of 2,191 at TD Garden. "It shows the coaching staff has trust in you. I got fortunate with a little loose puck. But I thought we did a really good job tonight just staying with the process and coming from behind. A typical Islanders win."
Beauvillier knocked in a trickling puck at the crease just 21 seconds into the three-on-three period after defenseman Nick Leddy sped past Charlie Coyle to shoot and Jaroslav Halak couldn’t control the rebound.
The Islanders (22-8-4) rallied from a two-goal first-period deficit,
won their third straight and maintained a two-point lead over the second-place Capitals in the East Division.
They had not played since Beauvillier’s wraparound ended Monday night’s 2-1 win in Philadelphia. Tuesday night’s scheduled game in Boston was postponed because the Bruins, who had not played since March 18, were dealing with COVID-19 issues.
Beauvillier, who had nine goals and five assists in 22 postseason games as the Islanders reached the Eastern Conference finals in September, has 10 points in 25 games this season.
His line with Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who scored his 100th career goal, and rookie Oliver Wahlstrom, who gave the Islanders a short-lived lead late in the third period, was the team’s most productive.
"When you have a big piece of the game, you have lots of confidence," coach Barry Trotz said of Beauvillier. "You generally know if you’ve played well, and scoring is a bonus."
The Bruins did not resume practicing until 7 p.m. Wednesday, and Jake DeBrusk and Sean Kuraly remained on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list on Thursday.
"They’ve got a great team, so any time you can beat them, it’s a good win," said Josh Bailey, who tied the score at 2 at 4:33 of the third period after cutting to the right circle to take Brock Nelson’s feed. "It felt like we didn’t play in a while, having two days off. That’s just how often we’ve been playing games."
Semyon Varlamov stopped 29 shots and kept the score tied as he stopped Craig Smith at the crease at 16:12 of the third period.
Varlamov also made three saves on the Bruins’ four-minute power play after defenseman Scott Mayfield bloodied Patrice Bergeron’s inner lip with a high stick at 3:12 of the second period. Casey Cizikas and defensemen Ryan Pulock and Andy Greene blocked shots on the penalty kill and Pageau brought the Islanders within 2-1 at 7:21 to finish a three-on-two started as Mayfield exited the penalty box.
"I thought we looked not really sharp out of the gate and then they get the two goals that were sort of seeing-eye pucks," Trotz said. "When it was 2-0 [in the first period], he had that one shift, he made three or four saves, and then that turned everything around. If they get that third goal, we probably don’t [win]."
Wahlstrom, who extended his point streak to five games (four goals, two assists) gave the Islanders a 3-2 lead at 17:04 of the third period with a backhander at the crease off Pageau’s forecheck. But Anders Bjork tied it 54 seconds later as he was left open in front of Varlamov.
The Bruins took a 2-0 lead as Karson Kuhlman and Steven Kampfer each scored his first goal of the season.