Anthony Beauvillier got back into the lineup on Tuesday, just his second game in the past six. He was a healthy scratch the other four games.
If Beauvillier hadn’t stuck with the Isles, he’d be spending this week at Team Canada’s World Junior tournament camp, vying to make the national squad for a second straight year. Hockey Canada, as it does with all eligible players in the NHL, asked the Islanders for permission to have Beauvillier in camp and potentially play in the tournament, which begins on Dec. 26 in Montreal and Toronto.
That request was denied.
“I’m in the NHL right now and there’s no place I’d rather be,” Beauvillier said. “My goal at the beginning of the year was to play here the whole year, so I want to stay. If I would have been in juniors it’s a different story, World Junior would have been a goal for sure. But I’m here and I want to stay here.”
Beauvillier has played 20 of the Isles’ 28 games as he heads confidently towards the 39-game mark that will earn him a year of NHL service time — the Isles have no plans to send Beauvillier back to the Quebec League before then.
But the scratches and juggled linemates haven’t allowed him to build much chemistry.
“I’m 19, so sometimes it’s OK to take a rest for a bit, look at the game from up top and try to learn from there,” he said. “Every time I go back in I’m a little nervous, but I just have to have fun, enjoy the game.”
Cizikas gets a scare, but returns
Casey Cizikas looked to be in real trouble barely 90 seconds into Tuesday’s game, having been accidentally stepped on by the Caps’ Dmitri Orlov along the boards after Cizikas fell. The Islanders center raced across the ice and to the dressing room holding his left forearm, with trainer Damien Hess racing alongside, hinting at a bad skate cut.
Amazingly, Cizikas returned less than eight minutes later seemingly no worse for wear. Jason Chimera also missed some time early in the first with an apparent equipment issue, temporarily leaving the Islanders with 10 forwards. Chimera returned after a five-minute absence.