Anthony Beauvillier broke open a 2-2 tie at 13:40 of the third period, as the New York Islanders downed the New Jersey Devils 3-2 in preseason action at Prudential Center on Wednesday night.
Beauvillier teamed up with Josh Ho-Sang on the game-winning goal, with Beauvillier beating Cory Schneider high-short side, on a night where the Islanders young guns matched up against a vet-heavy Devils squad that included Mike Cammalleri and Taylor Hall.
"We found a way to win, so it was a good point," Beauvillier said. "They pretty much had their full lineup tonight. It was a hard game, a hard lineup and those D and forwards were tough to play against."
Alan Quine and Andrew Ladd scored the Islanders' other two goals, while Ben Lovejoy and Adam Henrique scored for the Devils. The Islanders beat the Devils for the second time in three nights.
While Ho-Sang hit the scoresheet with an assist on Wednesday, the 2014 first-round pick was a constant threat for a goal and one of the most dynamic players on the ice. Skating on a line with Beauvillier and Michael Dal Colle - all first-round picks - Ho-Sang generating a breakaway, an end-to-end rush and pulling off a few of the dazzling moves he's been known for in junior.
"I felt good, I would have been happier if I scored on both breakaways," Ho-Sang said. "It's okay, it's all a learning process. I've never had a breakaway in the NHL before, so I got a little excited."
"The coaches told me the most important thing was to play my game, so that's what I tried to do tonight."
Ho-Sang picked his spots and while his breakaways caught everyone's attention, some of his more subtle plays caught the attention of head coach Jack Capuano.
"When he got into the neutral zone and didn't have a play he made the right decision with the puck and that's what we're looking for," Capuano said of Ho-Sang. "Our guys are held accountable for things like that and I thought he did a good job. He's taking the ice that's available, we'll never take away his creativity, you saw him on the power play dancing though, but five-on-five I thought he managed the puck pretty well."
Neither team surrendered many chances early on, but the game opened up as time wore on. Quine opened the scoring at 15:18, finding some open ice on a bad Devils change, wheeling in and beating Cory Schneider stick side, but the Devils answered right back. Lovejoy tied the score 1-1, 1:20 later, beating Thomas Greiss short side from the half wall.
Henrique put the Devils ahead 2-1 midway through the second, taking advantage of an Islanders turnover, skating in alone and tucking the puck behind Greiss at 8:25. That lead didn't last long either, as Ladd tied the score on the power play at 11:26, taking several whacks at a loose puck - the result of a Ryan Pulock bomb from the point.
"When you have a big man in front of the net like 16 and you have a shot like six has, it's going to lead to something," head coach Jack Capuano said. "It was good for me tonight to see him finally start to use it because there were chances throughout this training camp and he was a little tentative."
Greiss made 19 saves on 21 shots for the win, while Schneider stopped 30-of-33 in the loss. After playing three games in three nights, the Islanders are off until Sunday night's preseason finale in Washington.