Multi-point efforts from Anthony Beauvillier and Josh Bailey fueled the Islanders in a 4-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday night from Nassau Coliseum.
After an opening-night performance that saw the Islanders put up just one goal against the Washington Capitals and their rookie goalie on Friday night, 10-different players recorded a point against the Jets — easing initial worries of offensive famine.
Beauvillier’s goal, which came in the third period, and assist put him at a team-leading three points (1 G, 2 A) through the first two games of the season. That has put him on a pace to smash last year’s figures of 18 goals and 10 assists.
“I’m just working hard, getting a couple of bounces,” Beauvillier said. “It’s been great so far.”
Goaltender Thomas Greiss provided a sturdy backstop in his first start of the season, picking up right where he left off last season when he put up career bests in save percentage and goals-against average on the way to the William Jennings Trophy.
Greiss stopped 35 of 36 shots on the night while remaining his usual unfazed self.
“It’s always nice to get the first one out of the way,” Greiss said. “It was a successful game, the whole team had a good game.”
A second-period explosion provided a much-needed wake-up call for the Islanders’ offense as they slotted three goals past Winnipeg netminder Laurent Brossoit.
Bailey provided the team’s first power-play goal and tally by a forward this season with a wide-open tip off a pass from Beauvillier 1:51 into the frame.
“It was a good tic-tac-toe play leading to that,” Bailey said. “It made my job easy.”
Bailey picked up his second point just 2:37 later when he had the primary assist on Brock Nelson’s wrist shot — a wicked wrister from the right circle that whizzed over the shoulder of Brossoit.
Anders Lee would record the team’s third goal of the second when a Scott Mayfield shot from the point deflected off the captain’s foot and popped over Brossoit.
Shortly after Nick Leddy hit the crossbar on an odd-man rush, Patrik Laine pulled one back for the Jets with a fizzing wrist shot that Greiss had no chance on.
Beauvillier would pick up his first goal of the season early in the third when he wheeled a backhander off a rebound top shelf to restore New York’s three-goal lead.
“That’s how we had success last year. Just grinding it out,” Beauvillier said. “This was a big bounceback game for us… It just shows our character in this room.”
The goal and the stellar play by Greiss snuffed out any momentum the Jets had picked up with the Laine goal.
Greiss stopped two breakaway chances from Jets forward Kyle Connor in the third, which put an exclamation point on a night that saw him save 35 of 36 shots.
“Beau’s goal really put a dent in Winnipeg,” Trotz said. “They had a bit of a push… but Greiss had to make a couple of really huge saves. Once he made those saves, I think that really killed their will.”