Anthony Beauvillier may be one of the top two Islanders’ point producers in the playoffs so far, but the second-line winger could have double the amount of goals with the number of opportunities he’s had this postseason.
That’s just been Beauvillier’s M.O. during the Isles’ last two playoff runs: elevating his game from the regular season and generating more high-danger scoring chances when it matters the most.
Heading into Game 4 of the second-round series against the Bruins on Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum, Beauvillier was tied with Jean-Gabriel Pageau for the most points on the team with four goals and five assists. According to Natural Stat Trick, Beauvillier has registered 11 high-danger scoring chances, just one fewer than top-line center Mathew Barzal.
“Beau’s been pretty dangerous,” head coach Barry Trotz said prior to the game Saturday. “He’s had a few breakaways, I think he’s been noticeable on the forecheck, he’s been good defensively.
“The great thing about Beau is … this is going to be the 40th playoff game in the last three years, I can’t think of too many games where Beau has been a guy I go, ‘Man, he wasn’t very good tonight.’ I can’t remember too many times that that is said in my thoughts after games. He usually raises his game in the playoffs.”
Beauvillier, who turns 24 on Tuesday and is set to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer, had more than one opportunity to sway Game 3 in the Islanders’ favor. He had two breakaways, including one just after Barzal’s game-tying tally near the end of the third period, but didn’t convert on either.
That Beauvillier has been able to finesse breakaways at all this series has been crucial for the Isles, as there haven’t been many opportunities for his teammates to do so. It’s a part of Beauvillier’s game that he has carried over from last postseason.
During the 2020 playoffs, in which the Islanders came within two wins of the Stanley Cup Final, Beauvillier had nine goals (three of which were game-winners) and five assists through 22 games, including the play-in series.
Beauvillier said this past training camp he was ready to take the next step in his game, become a more consistent player and take on a bigger role. There may still be work to be done on his consistency in the regular season, but Beauvillier is once again making his mark on the playoffs.
“I think you can see the talent when he came in, obviously made the team as a young kid,” said Cal Clutterbuck, who was in his third season on Long Island, of when Beauvillier was a rookie. “Just a raw talent. But his game has evolved over the years, I think he fits in really well with that line with Nelly and Bails. But I think a real sign of somebody’s maturity and their game and where it’s at is their performance when it counts and in the postseason.
“I think last year’s postseason was a really big boost for his confidence and you can see that he’s got that ability to raise his game when it matters. He’s been a real important player for us.”