All signs are pointing to Ilya Sorokin starting Game 2 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
All three New York Islanders goaltenders took part in the team’s morning skate on Tuesday, but Ilya Sorokin was seen practicing in a net all to himself while Cory Schneider and Semyon Varlamov shared a net at the other end of the ice. If Sorokin does get the nod in Game 2 it will be the rookie’s second postseason start of his career.
Islanders head coach Barry Trotz did tell reporters after the team’s morning skate that Varlamov was available for Game 2 and that “yes, I will have a Russian goalie playing net.”
It appears Sorokin has the net tonight. Varlamov and Schneider switching off in the other net. @NYIHockeyNow
— Dan Kingerski (@TheDanKingerski) May 18, 2021
Ilya Sorokin made his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut on Sunday in a 39 save effort in the opening game of the series between the Isles and Pittsburgh. He helped backstop the Islanders to a 4-3 overtime win to give New York the early 1-0 series lead.
Varlamov did take part in the Islanders optional practice on Monday at PPG Paints Arena and was on the ice for nearly an hour. Trotz was vague on Monday regarding whether or not Varlamov would get the start in Game 2.
The veteran netminder left the Islanders season finale in Boston on May 10 after two periods and missed the team’s first two practices of the postseason. He returned to the ice last Friday, skating with the Islanders extras on Long Island and then taking part in a full practice the following day before the Isles departed for Pittsburgh.
Sunday was only Sorokin’s third time facing Pittsburgh in his career and it was the second time he had been victorious against them.
Varlamov owns a 24-20-0 record in 44 career playoff starts, with a 2.38 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage. He has a 3-4-0 against Pittsburgh in the postseason.