The New York Islanders decided to go with a different goalie in Game 2 against the Boston Bruins.
Ilya Sorokin started Game 1 and gave up four goals in New York’s 5-2 loss, which put the Islanders in a 1-0 hole in their second-round Stanley Cup playoff series. But Islanders head coach Barry Trotz went with Semyon Varlamov, who was nails against Boston in the regular season, for Game 2.
The result? A 39-save performance in the Isles’ series-tying overtime win over the Bruins on Monday night at TD Garden.
Trotz explained after the game that going with Varlamov over Sorokin was a “pretty easy decision.”
“It was a pretty easy decision. We have two really good goaltenders,” Trotz told reporters over Zoom. “But it was his record. He was 5-1, his goals-against I think was under two. He’s a veteran. He’s not scared of these moments, and he’s been our rock for us all year. I hope he gets a ton of votes for the Vezina, at least be a finalist, because he’s been one of our MVPs this year.”
Varlamov was 5-1-0 against the B’s this season with a .943 save percentage and a 1.93 goals-against average. So, it’s clear why Trotz went in this direction.
It’s unclear, however, who will start Game 3 on Thursday night as the series shifts to New York. But it’s fair to think Varlamov did enough to earn a second straight appearance between the pipes.