It would have been a night that Semyon Varlamov surely would have gotten the start in net against the Washington Capitals. Instead, Ilya Sorokin got the nod, Cory Schneider served as backup and Varlamov wasn’t even dressed for the game on his 33rd birthday.
Islanders head coach Barry Trotz told reporters after the game that Varlamov did skate on Tuesday, but he had been dealing with some soreness and they opted to give him some time to rest. The team’s plan for Tuesday had been to give Ilya Sorokin the start, Trotz said.
“I don’t see that being a problem going forward at all,” Trotz said about Varlamov’s soreness.
The Islanders fell to Washington 1-0 on Tuesday night for their third straight loss. The game’s only goal came 1:29 into the game by Daniel Sprong.
The Islanders head coach did not reveal who he had planned to start earlier in the day, but the assumption was that Varlamov would get the start after two previous shutouts against Washington. Sorokin also had a rough night against Washington on Saturday on Long Island.
Last Thursday, Semyon Varlamov made 28 saves against Washington in a 1-0 shootout loss at the Nassau Coliseum and he made 29 stops on April 6 in a 1-0 win over them.
Varlamov is carrying 2.12 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage in 30 starts this season. Varlamov is among the top 10 goaltenders in the NHL in both categories this season.
Varlamov and Sorokin had been sharing time in net this season, and the veteran Varlamov had been serving as a mentor to the rookie netminder. Sorokin made 32 saves on 33 shots in the loss to Washington.
(Editors Note: This story has been updated to reflect comments made by Islanders head coach Barry Trotz)