UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Semyon Varlamov didn’t miss a beat on Monday.
Despite missing his scheduled start on Saturday due to a freak injury during warmups, the veteran goaltender was on the ice and in command of his net in the New York Islanders 1-0 win over the Boston Bruins. Varlamov made 27 saves as he became the first goalie in franchise history to record shutouts in their first two games of the season.
“I can tell that’s the best result I’ve ever had after two games,” Varlamov said. I’ve never had back to back shutouts at the beginning of the season. I mean I’ve had some seasons where I’ve felt great, but still, the outcome is different. I’m glad it happened this way and I’m pretty happy about the result.”
— NHL (@NHL) January 19, 2021
Semyon Varlamov was dominant in his second outing of the year on Monday. The Islanders’ netminder withstood what felt like a barrage of shots Boston threw at him over the course of the 60-minute contest.
Varlamov is only the 14th goaltender in NHL history to start the season with shutouts in his first two starts.
It was up in the air if Varlamov would even be able to start on Monday. He was injured by a shot during warmups on Saturday night and was forced to miss the game.
“I got hit in the face during warmups,” Varlamov said. “It happens you know. I felt a little dizzy. It happens. I felt fine the next morning. I skated yesterday, felt pretty good after practice. Barry decided to put me in the net. I felt pretty good today.”
The Russian goalie held Boston at bay early in the game. Boston tilted the ice in their favor through the first 20 minutes of the game, pressuring the Islanders and outshooting them 11-3.
The Islanders managed to right the ship as the game went on, it was the early effort from Varlamov that helped the Islanders turn the tide.
“It seems like every time we play them, it’s pretty tight. They play a structured game every game, like playoff hockey. We like to play that way too. So, it’s always a tight match up whenever we play them.”
Pulock and Varlamov ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/DVeFlCFIk0
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 19, 2021
“I thought early he was a big reason we got a win tonight,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “He made some really good saves against a very good hockey team. He just calmed our game, gave us a chance. In the second period, we got our feet moving and started to play more to our identity.”
The shutout win certainly had plenty of people excited, Varlamov tried to keep the situation within perspective after the game
“I’ll take back-to-back shutouts, I’m not going to lie,” Varlamov said. “I’m pretty happy today. But this is just the beginning of the year, a lot of games coming. We played well today and I’m glad we scored the important goal in the end.”