That might be the sound of a clanging cash register heard in the background for the start of Jordan Eberle’s postseason.
The Islanders forward — who is set to be an unrestricted free agent — scored his second goal in as many games, this one standing as the game-winner in a 3-1 victory over the Penguins in Game 2 of the first-round playoff series on Friday night at the Coliseum.
It has been a bit of a down year for Eberle statistically, but the one-time 30-goal scorer will turn 29 on May 15 and will hit the open market on July 1 if he is not re-signed by the Islanders. Rest assured, if he keeps scoring goals like the dandy little backhand he netted at 7:54 of the third period for a 2-1 lead, the suitors will be lining up.
“It’s not like I’m going on the ice thinking about my contract. I don’t think about it at all, to be honest,” Eberle said Friday morning. “You kind of just let things happen as they do. I think the biggest thing is when you’re a kid, you dream of playing in the playoffs, and that chance is here. The farther you go as a team, the better it is for the individual.”
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Since Eberle was reunited with Mathew Barzal on the top line on March 11, the production has been coming. He scored five goals in the final seven games of the regular season, and started this postseason with a goal 1:40 into Game 1. He has also added an assist in each game, while Barzal had two assists in Game 2 and now has three in two games.
“They’re probably rooming together in Pittsburgh,” coach Barry Trotz kidded. “They were really good.”
This could have been the final playoff game of this season at the Coliseum. If the Islanders win both games in Pittsburgh to move on to the second round, their home rink would be Brooklyn’s Barclays Center for as long as they continue in the postseason.
Either way, Trotz was rather happy with the boisterous crowd, which was still chanting as he held his postgame press conference about 40 minutes after the final horn sounded.
“They gave us a real boost,” Trotz said, “and thank you.”
Winger Anthony Beauvillier missed Thursday’s practice for “maintenance,” but did take the ice with the extras Friday morning. He was considered “a probable” by Trotz, but the 21-year-old was able to play and took his regular spot next to Valtteri Filppula and Leo Komarov.
Beauvillier scored the game-tying goal at 13:25 of the second period, swatting in a loose puck after he had started the play by making a great saucer pass to Barzal, whose redirection was stopped by goalie Matt Murray.
If Beauvillier had not been able to play, Michael Dal Colle likely would have stepped in. The 22-year-old practiced in that place on Thursday.