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Notebook: Isles Beat Leafs 5-4, Point Streak Reaches 13

Isles improve to 12-0-1 in last 13 games after 5-4 win over Maple Leafs

by Cory Wright WrightsWay /

Lucky number 13.

The Islanders extended their point streak to 13 games (12-0-1) on Wednesday night, beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 at Nassau Coliseum. 

Anthony Beauvillier scored a pair of goals, Derick Brassard had a three-point night (1G, 2A) and Mathew Barzal potted a goal and an assist to lead the Isles offensively. Casey Cizikas' empty-netter held up as the game winner after a late Leafs push, while Semyon Varlamov made 23 saves in the win. 

The 13-game point streak was the fifth in franchise history and longest since the team's 15-game winning streak in 1981-82.

Video: TOR@NYI: Barzal powers home Eberle's feed


The blue and white seem to get Mathew Barzal seeing red. 

Barzal had two points (1G, 1A) against the Maple Leafs, bring his career totals to nine points (5G, 4A) in seven-career games against the Maple Leafs. Barzal opened the scoring for the Islanders, slamming a backdoor feed from Jordan Eberle past Frederik Andersen at 14:23 of the first period. The goal was Barzal's team-leading eighth of the season.

Barzal made the highlight reel late in the second period, as he made a nifty move through three Maple Leafs to the inside of the ice. While the building expected Barzal to shoot, he dished to Brassard for a power-play goal to put the Isles up 4-2. 

"He beat all four guys," Brassard said. "He's our best player and it's great to see him at such a young age and trying to make a difference in big games like that."

Video: TOR@NYI: Beauvillier wires home power-play goal


Anthony Beauvillier delivered a first-star performance on Wednesday night, scoring a pair of goals in the Islanders win. 

The 22-year-old put the Isles ahead 2-0 with a power-play goal in the final minute of the first period, snapping a shot off Andersen's glove and in. He put the Isles ahead 3-2 at 16:43 of the second period, providing a halt to Toronto's second period momentum. 

Between Beauvillier's goals, the Maple Leafs staged a comeback evening the score 2-2 just past the midway mark. Kasperi Kapanen put Toronto on the board with a backdoor play 43 seconds into the middle frame, while William Nylander tied it with a redirection off the rush at 11:22. 

Toronto outshot the Islanders 13-6 in the second period, and with the momentum turning, Barry Trotz "jumpstarted" his lines, a move that allowed the Isles to pull ahead. 

Trotz moved Brassard from the third line center back up to second line wing with Beauvillier and Brock Nelson, a line that was especially effective during Brassard's five-game goal streak. All three connected on Beauvillier's second of the night, with Nelson forcing a turnover on a Leafs' exit, Brassard feeding Beauvillier in front and the 22-year-old backhanding a shot five-hole on Andersen. 

"He's hungry and it's been a lot of fun playing on his line," Brassard said of Beauvillier. "He's the engine on our line, he's the youngest one and we expect him to have the most every night. It's been a lot of fun playing with those two guys. Beau is one of our best players this season. Hopefully he can keep going that way. He's still a really young player in this league. He's still learning every day. He's going to be something in a couple years."

Video: TOR@NYI: Beauvillier retakes the lead with backhander


Wednesday's win looked like a sure thing after Cizikas made it 5-2 with an empty-netter, but the final two-and-a-half minutes were a lot tenser than the Islanders would have liked. 

Justin Holl made it 5-3 with 1:47 to play, while former Islander John Tavares, who still incurred jeers from the Coliseum crowd, made it a one-goal game with 38 seconds to play. It was not the finish Trotz and co. were looking for after an especially sound first 15 minutes of the third period, but nevertheless, they held on to win in regulation. 

"The game was sort of choppy, but I thought the best stretch was the third period, the first 15 minutes. Once we scored the fifth goal, we just sort of stopped playing a little bit," Trotz said. "I thought we were just okay today."

Video: TOR@NYI: Brassard tees up Barzal's feed for PPG


Leo Komarov returned to the lineup for the first time since Oct. 17 after missing eight games with an illness and neck injury. 

Komarov assumed his natural position on the wing, starting the game alongside Brassard and Michael Dal Colle, before Trotz's line juggling. The 32-year-old forward made his presence felt early with crunching hits on Travis Dermott and Holl, as well as some quality penalty killing. Trotz said that while Komarov, who logged 10:50 TOI with three hits and a blocked shot, gave the Isles some much-needed energy early. 

Video: Beauvillier, Brassard lift Islanders past Maple Leafs

Josh Bailey played in his 814th career game as an Islander on Wednesday night, tying Bob Bourne for fifth on the team's all-time games played list. 


The Islanders head to Philadelphia on Saturday for a Metropolitan Division matchup against the Flyers. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. 

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