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Islanders’ Anthony Beauvillier scores on homecoming in Montreal

Head coach Doug Weight of the New York

Head coach Doug Weight of the New York Islanders talks with assistant coach Greg Cronin in the first period against the New York Rangers at Barclays Center on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 in Brooklyn, New York. Credit: Jim McIsaac

MONTREAL — Anthony Beauvillier’s smile wouldn’t fade through any of the postgame questions, either in French or English. His first NHL game in Montreal, his hometown, was more special than he could have imagined.

With about 50 friends and family in attendance, Beauvillier scored the first goal in the Islanders’ 3-0 win Thursday night and was named first star. An MSG Network camera caught his father, Sylvain, wiping away tears after Anthony scored at 5:28 of the first.

“They’re a big part of this,” he said of his folks. “They’re the reason I’m here, all the money they spent on me, all the travel to take me to games. It means everything to have them here.”

Beauvillier was playing for free, as the saying goes, having bought 19 tickets for various family and friends.

“You could see it in his eye this morning at the skate. He was pumped,” coach Doug Weight said. “And he was everywhere tonight.”

Bright side of injuries

Weight tried to see the bright side of the Islanders’ injury news, even though Casey Cizikas (upper body) has been lost for four weeks, Cal Clutterbuck (lower body) again was out and Shane Prince (upper body) still wasn’t ready to return.

“With Casey, just got caught in the right spot,” Weight said. “We’re disappointed, of course, but given what they saw initially, it could have been worse. We’re actually pretty excited it’s only four weeks and hopefully sooner than that.”

Clutterbuck took a spin on the Bell Centre ice Thursday morning but came off. He has missed 14 of the last 19 games. His absence, coupled with Prince’s continued absence — he skated fully but missed his sixth straight game — meant Bracken Kearns, 35, recalled from Bridgeport on Wednesday, made his season debut.

“The great thing about Bracken is he’s a pro. He’s been around,” Weight said. “He’s a smart player and he knows what we need from him.”

Kearns played his 34th NHL game and third for the Islanders. He also has 642 AHL games and 88 ECHL games on his lengthy resume. He leads the Sound Tigers with 18 goals and 40 points this season.

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