Former Yarmouth resident Oliver Wahlstrom celebrates after scoring a goal Thursday night during the Islanders’ 7-2 win over the Boston Bruins in Uniondale, N.Y. The Islanders won 7-2. Adam Hunger/Associated Press

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Anthony Beauvillier scored the tiebreaking goal in New York’s five-goal third period and the Islanders beat the first-place Boston Bruins 7-2 on Thursday night.

Mathew Barzal had a goal and an assist, and Adam Pelech, Jordan Eberle, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Anders Lee and Oliver Wahlstrom also scored to help the Islanders get their second straight win and improve to 6-0-1 at home. Semyon Varlamov stopped 34 shots.

New York, which got its highest scoring output of the season, beat Boston for the third time in three meetings – three of the Bruins’ four regulation losses this season – to move one point behind Boston and Washington in the East.

“We understand how tough our division is top to bottom,” Lee said. “Boston’s done a phenomenal job getting off to a good start and we’re chasing them down. Any time you can close the gap a little bit, it’s always a good evening.”

Nick Ritchie and Craig Smith scored for Boston, and Jaroslav Halak had 30 saves in his first game against the Islanders since leaving after the 2017-18 season.

Beauvillier put the Islanders ahead at 5:41 of the third. Halak stopped Beauvillier’s initial shot, but Beauvillier swooped in and took the puck away from Trent Frederic in front and backhanded it past Halak.


“Tie game going into the third period against arguably the best team in the league, that’s a good test for us,” Barzal said. “I thought we rose to the forefront today.”

Eberle made it 4-2 with 9:15 left, taking a pass from Barzal, then going to his forehand to get Halak to go down before lifting the puck into the net.

Pageau scored on a short-handed breakaway with 7:36 remaining to give the Islanders a three-goal lead. Lee made it 6-2 with 5:16 left, and Wahlstrom got his second goal of the season with 3:27 to go.

“It’s a big win because we want to stay in the pack,” Islanders Coach Barry Trotz said. “It’s just a big mess of teams that are very equal in terms of talent and in terms of the standings. It’s going to be a battle right to the end.”

Halak had not given up a goal in the third period in six starts this season.

“Tonight was hopefully a one-off,” Ritchie said. “We just fell apart and kind of stopped playing, and that’s what happens in this league. There’s a lot of good teams.”


Varlamov made a nice save on a backhand try by Jake DeBrusk on a breakaway 7:21 into the second to preserve New York’s 2-1 lead.

However, Smith tied it with 8:24 left in the second. He sent the puck toward the net from the outside edge of the left circle with teammate Jack Studnicka charging toward the goal, but it was deflected by the Islanders’ Matt Martin and fluttered past Varlamov.

The Islanders were outshot 15-10 in the penalty-free opening period, but led 2-1 after 20 minutes.

Ritchie put the Bruins on the scoreboard 1:02 into the game. Taking advantage of an Islanders turnover, Ritchie deflected a pass by rookie defenseman Jakub Zboril past Varlamov for his seventh of the season.

Pelech tied it at 3:16, putting the puck in from the left side on a rebound. Casey Cizikas’ initial shot was deflected by Martin in front. Halak stopped that attempt, but the puck came right to Pelech, who got his first of the season.

Barzal put the Islanders ahead with 7:21 left in the first period on a 2-on-1 with defenseman Nick Leddy. Barzal had been held without a point the last four games after a career-high nine-game point streak. Leddy got his sixth assist in eight games, and Varlamov got his eighth career assist.



Zboril returned to the lineup after missing the last two games because of an injury. Boston Coach Bruce Cassidy said defenseman Matt Grzelcyk skated in the morning, but he didn’t play. Defenseman Jeremy Lauzon is out four-to-six weeks because of a broken hand. The Bruins were also without center David Krejci and defenseman Kevan Miller.

Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck did not play after the first period because of an undisclosed injury. Clutterbuck saw only 3:07 of ice time in the opening period.


Bruins right win David Pastrnak played in his 400th regular-season game.

Cizikas’ assist on Pelech’s first-period goal was the 100th of his career.


The Islanders plan to begin allowing fans at the Nassau Coliseum starting March 18 against Philadelphia. Fans will be limited to 10% of full capacity, which is 13,917. The Islanders will have about 1,000 healthcare workers in attendance for the previous game, on March 11 against New Jersey.

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