ELMONT — Against his former team, Anthony Beauvillier scored what proved to be the game-winning goal for the Vancouver Canucks to defeat the New York Islanders 6-5 on Thursday night in UBS Arena and snap a four-game win streak.
Undone by 23 giveaways, the Islanders blew a 4-2 lead late in the second period with Elias Pettersson scoring the game-tying and go-ahead goals just 3:50 apart in the third period. Beauvillier tipped home a Brock Boeser shot on the power play with 3:02 left in regulation, which was a necessity for the visitors after Noah Dobson poached one to pull back within a goal with 48.8 seconds to go in regulation.
“I saw a lot of mistakes being made, a lot of individual turnovers,” Islanders head coach Lane Lambert said. “Twenty-three giveaways, you’re not going to win a hockey game doing that. There were plays that had to be made and we didn’t make them tonight.”
“It’s unacceptable at this point of the season.”
The other major part of that blockbuster trade, Bo Horvat, also got on the score sheet for his second Islanders goal and 33rd of the season to give them a two-goal lead with 4:47 to go in the second period, but Nils Aman pulled Vancouver back within one just 51 seconds later.
“When you’re up two in a hockey game lat ein the second period and you don’t win the hockey game, you feel like you’ve let something slip away,” Lambert fumed. “There’s a certain amount of frustration in that.”
Despite holding a lead for large spells of the night, the Islanders (27-23-5, 55 points) were mostly outplayed by a Canucks team that was on the second leg of a back-to-back — especially during a first period that featured four goals in a 3:29 span.
New York took the lead with 8:55 to go in the first when Kyle Palmieri sniped a wrister from the left circle over the glove of Canucks goalie Collin Delia to continue his torrid stretch after returning from injury just before the All-Star break. He has two goals and five assists in his last seven games.
But the Canucks answered swiftly. Just 39 seconds after Palmieri’s goal Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s wrister from the point sailed over the glove of Sorokin and into the back of the net with the help from a screen by Beauvillier. Forty-six seconds later, Boeser gave Vancouver the lead when he finished an uncontested one-timer.
The Islanders found a quick answer, though, and on just their third shot of the night found their second goal. Brock Nelson kept it himself on a 2-on-1 and lasered a wrister home from the right slot for his 20th goal of the season with 5:26 left in the first.
Mathew Barzal put the Islanders back up as their first power play of the game expired, and 2:26 into the second period, when he fired a one-timer from the left circle into the top corner near-side. It came just seconds after a Horvat redirection goal was disallowed due to goalie interference by Anders Lee.
Horvat doubled the Islanders’ advantage at the 15:13 mark of the period, but the Canucks nabbed one back before the break when Arman was left all alone in front of Sorokin’s goal to clean up a rebound.
Pettersson found the equalizer on the power play for the Canucks, a shot from the point glancing off Sorokin’s leg and in 4:38 into the third period, and then the go-ahead goal just 3:50 later when he rifled a wrister from the right circle past the Islanders’ netminder.
“We didn’t have enough push,” Horvat said. “Especially in the third. We knew they were going to come in a one-goal game. That’s the type of team that doesn’t quit. They’ve done that all year and we just weren’t ready to go in the third.”
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