New York Islanders: Semyon Varlamov with a dominant performance in win over Rangers

Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Semyon Varlamov was absolutely dominant for the New York Islanders on Monday.

If you want to see what perfection looks like, look no further than Semyon Varlamov’s performance last night in the New York Islanders‘ 2-0 win over the New York Rangers. After picking up a win in his 500th NHL game on Saturday, Varlamov put together a mighty-fine effort to shut out the Blueshirts for the second time this season.

In what felt like a Playoff atmosphere, Semyon Varlamov played hero as he denied all thirty shots that came his way. Rangers’ netminder Igor Shesterkin was stifling the Islanders’ offense at the other end, but Varlamov gave his team the ultimate chance at leaving the contest with two points.

All game long, Varlamov was making saves at the top of his crease. His anticipation allowed for him to be one step ahead of the Rangers all night long. All his rebounds went to the corners, as I believe this was his best showing of the season. His biggest save of the night, the turning point of the game rather, was his breakaway stop on Artemi Panarin.

He did not get stuck deep in his crease and stood tall to deny the Panarin shot. More importantly, there was no rebound on the play as, if there was, Panarin more than likely finds the back of the net. Varlamov stoned Panarin earlier in the game as well, as he read the play and put himself in the perfect position to make the save.

In the first period, Varlamov made a big-time save on an odd-man rush as he denied Mika Zibanejad point-blank. Varlamov spoke about his big-time saves following the win. “When you face these shots against the biggest players in the league, and you make the save, of course, it gives you a boost during the game. You want to make that save. I thought that was a key save in this game. We needed those.”

Netminder Semyon Varlamov has bailed his team out more often than not this season.

When the game was all said and done, Varlamov faced 11 high-danger chances against, as he denied all of them. On the season, he has faced a total of 34 HD chances and has only allowed five of them to cross the goal-line (.872 SV %).

In the win, Varlamov became the first Islander netminder to record two shutouts against the New York Rangers in a single season.

“I mean, he’s been pretty incredible all year against all the teams he’s faced, ” Cal Clutterbuck said following the win. “He seems like he keeps getting better. He looks calm and cool in there, and we are lucky to have him. Tonight might have been a different game if we did not have him back there.” Varlamov now owns a 5-2-1 record, with a 1.87 GAA and a SV% of .932. He currently leads the NHL with three shutouts.

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The Islanders are not only on a two-game win streak but also find themselves in the East Division’s final Playoff spot. Even with the New York Islanders racking up defensive breakdowns in their last two games, Semyon Varlamov has allowed his team to pick up four crucial points. When the puck drops against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, Varlamov will more than likely be in the crease as the team looks to win their third consecutive game.