New York Islanders Anthony Beauvillier
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The first hat trick of Anthony Beauvillier’s NHL career leads the New York Islanders in a 7-5 comeback win over the New York Rangers.

  • New York Islanders 2 (10-6-2, 22 points)
  • New York Rangers 1 (9-8-2, 20 points)
  • NHL, Final, Box Score
  • Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York

Thursday night in Brooklyn, the New York Islanders hosted their rival New York Rangers for the first of four matchups set to take place over the course of the 2018-19 season.

In the eyes of many, both teams weren’t expected to be competitive this season, yet the two New York teams were tied for second in the Metropolitan Division with 20 points each (17 games for the Islanders, 18 for the Rangers) entering Thursday night’s contest.

Headed into the game, the Islanders were 6-0 against the Rangers at the Barclays Center and had won 11 of the last 12 matchups. But 5:35 in the Rangers were already up 2-0 on goals from Chris Kreider and Fredrik Claesson.

The Islanders responded quickly, however, as Anthony Beauvillier tipped a Thomas Hickey shot past Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to put the home team on the board. For Beauvillier, it was his second goal and point of the season in his 17th game but he wasn’t done there.

One minute and three seconds later, Brock Nelson deflected a shot from Nick Leddy through the legs of Lundqvist for the equalizer and his ninth goal of the season.

Two minutes and 24 seconds into the second period it was Beauvillier again, catching a saucer pass from Valtteri Filppula and moving in on a breakaway where he went short-side past Lundqvist for the Isles’ first lead of the night at 3-2.

Later on in the period while shorthanded, Kevin Hayes would take advantage of the Isles’ struggling power play, beating Thomas Greiss while using Nelson as a screen.

Not even two minutes later, the Islanders responded. On the power play, Johnny Boychuk took a shot on goal and there for the tip-in was Beauvillier, picking up his first NHL hat-trick and regaining the lead for the Isles.

From there, the Islanders offensive surge continued with yet another deflection past Lundqvist courtesy of the captain, Anders Lee as he tipped home Leddy’s shot.

Entering the game, Lundqvist’s numbers in his last 12 games (11 of which were starts) against the Islanders weren’t pretty. The 36-year-old netminder was 1-8-2 with a 3.37 goals-against average and .895 save percentage. Tonight was no different. Lundqvist allowed five goals on 17 shots and was pulled from the game to start the third period in favor of Alexandar Georgiev.

But the new goaltender didn’t stop the Islanders from what they had been doing all game: scoring goals. Nine minutes and 56 seconds into the third and final frame, Beauvillier got involved in the offense again sending a puck to the other end of the ice for Filppula. From there, Filppula drew Georgiev out of the goal before finding Leo Komarov for the tap-in goal to make it 6-3 Isles.

It isn’t over until it’s over and the Rangers made a push. Kreider scored his second of the game on the power play 13:13 into the third and later with an empty net and 2:29 left to play, rookie Filip Chytil brought the Rangers within one.

The Islanders were able to hit the empty net eventually though with Cal Clutterbuck scoring his second goal in as many games after not scoring in his previous 52.

With the 7-5 victory, the Islanders snap the Rangers’ seven-game point streak (6-0-1) and improve to 10-6-2 on the season (22 points). The Isles are now a perfect 7-0-0 against Metropolitan Division opponents this season. Their next game is on Sunday afternoon (1:00 pm EST) when they will host the Dallas Stars in Brooklyn. The Islanders and Rangers will meet again on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

As a die-hard New York Islanders fan, I joined ESNY to help keep other Isles fans updated on what's going on with their favorite team. Follow me on Twitter (@Shazen21) for updates on the team and when I post new content and check out my YouTube (Islanders Highlights) for player highlight videos, pump up videos, and more!