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TURNING POINT: Semyon Varlamov Save on Hall Helped Setup Cizikas Winner



Semyon Varlamov

It was the save that put the wheels in motion for Casey Cizikas’ game-winning goal on Monday night in the New York Islanders 4-3 overtime win over the Boston Bruins in Game 2.

The stop by Semyon Varlamov with 8:54 left in the overtime period on Taylor Hall was crucial for the Islanders and denied Boston a golden opportunity. First Varlamov made the stop on David Krejci’s initial shot, but the rebound went to Hall who quickly tried to capitalize from in close.

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The New York Islanders netminder was right there to make the crucial stop on Hall, who has been pretty effective during the postseason for Boston. Hall had four points (three goals, one assist) in seven playoff games so far this season.

“He was great for us the whole game,” Jean-Gabriel Pageau said. “He’s been great for us the whole season. To come up and make the big saves, it gives us the little boost sometimes that you need. We were able to create some chances, get some looks, and to see that your goalie has your back, it’s massive. I’m very happy for him.”

Monday was the first playoff game Semyon Varlamov had appeared in since Game 3 of the Islanders First-Round series with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Varlamov had struggled early in each of his three starts against Pittsburgh, but played well the rest of the way.

Semyon Varlamov allowed a goal on Boston’s first shot of the night, but held down the fort when the Islanders needed it the most, which included that overtime save on Hall.

“I think with goaltenders, they have certain teams that they’ve had success against,” Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said. “I think Varly has had success against the Bruins. Ilya had more success against Pittsburgh. We went to Ilya right off the bat and we were able to get that win. We felt we could ride Ilya’s momentum, it didn’t happen in Game 1 and I was pretty comfortable coming back with Varly in Game 2… I feel comfortable putting either one of the goaltenders in.”

Trotz added: “Varly isn’t a guy that complains about who’s in net. He just says when I’m in net, I’m going to give you my best game and he’s an all-in team guy. He’s low-maintenance. Both goalies cheer for each other.”

The Islanders will return to Long Island for Game 3 on Thursday with the series even at 1-1. That is in large part due to the play of Varlamov on Monday, especially that overtime save just moments before Cizikas got to become the Game 2 hero.