Beauvillier, Islanders beat Leafs for 12th win in 13 games
Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen (31) defends as New York Islanders' Anthony Beauvillier (18) attempts to score during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Uniondale, N.Y. Beauvillier scored a goal on the play. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Scott Charles, The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, November 13, 2019 9:50PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 13, 2019 11:06PM EST
UNIONDALE, N.Y. - The New York Islanders' depth paid dividends once again.
Anthony Beauvillier scored twice, Derick Brassard had a goal and two assists, and the streaking Islanders held off the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 Wednesday night.
Semyon Varlamov made 23 saves and the Islanders earned a point for the 13th straight game - a span including 12 victories and one overtime loss. Mathew Barzal also had a goal and an assist.
“It's a different guy coming up with a big play for us at different times,” Cal Clutterbuck said. “It speaks to the commitment that guys have to their roles.”
Kasperi Kapanen, William Nylander, Justin Holl and John Tavares scored for Toronto in its third straight loss. Frederik Andersen had 25 saves in the Maple Leafs' second game since losing Mitchell Marner for at least four weeks due to a high-ankle sprain.
Brassard hammered a one-timer at 9:07 of the third to give New York a 4-2 lead. Barzal and Ryan Pulock assisted on the play.
Beauvillier scored his second of the night late in the second period to give New York a 3-2 lead when he jammed a backhander past Andersen. The play started when Beauvillier forced Toronto forward Alexander Kerfoot to turn the puck over behind Andersen.
“He's a key piece for us,” Barzal said of Beauvillier. “We need him going every night, he is a big piece to the puzzle.”
Toronto erased a two-goal first-period deficit when they struck twice in the middle frame. Kapanen tapped in a goal 43 seconds into the period to cut the Islanders lead in half. Tavares picked up the primary assist and his 100th point as a Maple Leaf since leaving the Islanders in July of 2018. It was Tavares' third trip to Nassau Coliseum as a member of the visiting team.
Nylander redirected a perfect pass from Andreas Johnsson past Varlamov at 11:22 to tie it at 2. The Swedish forward breezed by Nelson and won a race to the front of the net preceding the goal. Jake Muzzin also assisted on the play.
Toronto outshot New York 13-4 in the second period.
“When you evaluate what we have done in 20 games, we don't like it as a group,” Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. “We got ourselves in the spot we are in, we got to grind our way out of it.”
Barzal opened the scoring at 14:23 of the first period when he buried a feed from Jordan Eberle. The Islanders took advantage when Johnsson carelessly turned the puck over just outside the blue line. Eberle picked up his first point since returning from a lower-body injury that forced the forward to miss 10 games.
“With guys getting healthy, it gives us internal motivation because everybody is trying to stay in the lineup,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “We are starting to get healthy now and everyone is trying to get a piece of the pie because there are only so many pieces to go around.”
Beauvillier gave the Islanders a 2-0 lead when he recorded a power-play goal at 19:21 of the first period. The 22-year-old wired a wrist shot from the top of the left circle to close out a strong first period for New York.
Casey Cizikas added an empty-net goal for New York before Holl and Tavares scored late in the third.
NOTES: Islanders F Leo Komarov returned to the lineup after missing the previous nine games. ... Alternate captain Josh Bailey skated in his 814th game, tying Bob Bourne for fifth on the Islanders' games played list. ... Islanders scratched 19-year-old D Noah Dobson and Otto Koivula. ... The Maple Leafs recalled F Nic Petan and G Kasimir Kaskisuo from the Toronto Marlies. ... Toronto scratched D Martin Marincin and Fs Jason Spezza and Dmytro Timashov.
Islanders: Visit Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.
Maple Leafs: Host Boston Bruins on Friday.