The New York Islanders have clinched a playoff spot for the third straight season. In doing that, Semyon Varlamov shut out the New York Rangers. The Islanders won this game by a score of 3-0. Anthony Beauvillier had a stellar performance for the team in orange in blue, with 2 goals to his name. The Islanders outplayed the Rangers all night, but this game would be so definitive of an Islanders win if not for Varlamov. Tonight, he recorded his fourth shutout against the Rangers alone, and his seventh of the season. The Islanders have locked in their playoffs spot, while the Rangers’ playoff chances dwindle by the second.
Islanders dominate the first period, going up 2-0
The Islanders came out of the gate firing. They were on a mission from puck drop to seal their playoff spot. It wasn’t that the Rangers were bad, the Islanders were just playing a lot better. 4 minutes in, Anthony Beauvillier scored, beating Alexander Georgiev. That gave the Islanders the lead, and they never gave it up. In a blink Mathew Barzal scored on the breakaway, beating Georgiev, to give the Islanders a 2-0 lead. Both first-period goals came from Josh Bailey primary assists. Similar to Thursday night, the Islanders were in control after 1.
Beauvillier makes it 3-0 in the second
Unfortunately for the Rangers, it didn’t get much better. Just over a minute in, Beauvillier scored his second of the game, giving the Isles a 3-0. From then on, it was lockdown time. Varlamov made some immaculate saves to keep the Rangers off the scoresheet. The Islanders played their style of hockey and the Rangers couldn’t keep up. Defense is very important and sometimes it is more important than scoring a ton of goals. They had enough goals, they realized that and shut down the Rangers.
The Rangers were locked down in the third
It was quite clear early enough in the third that the game was essentially over. With the way Varlamov and the Islanders’ defense was playing well, the Rangers had no chance. There was no need to add insult to injury, the Isles locked the Rangers down and didn’t need to score again. There were a few interesting plays, including a questionable hit by KeAndre Miller on Beauvillier. Other than that, the third was typical Islanders lockdown hockey.
The Islanders didn’t come out of this game necessarily unscathed. Kyle Palmieri took a shot to face on the power play in the second. Palmieri left the game but returned for the third. Jean-Gabriel Pageau also left the game for a bit, but also returned. If the Isles need to do one thing for the last 5 regular-season games, it is to stay healthy and not get injured.
Varlamov breaks a 45-year-old Islanders franchise record
Semyon Varlamov set the Islanders’ franchise record for the longest shutout streak. It was held by Chico Resch for 45 years, before being broken tonight. The Isles have now made the playoffs for their third straight season. The first time they’ve done that since the seasons between 2002-04. It was a record-breaking night for the Isles, to say the least.
The Islanders finish the season series against the Rangers with a record of 6-2-0. The Rangers finish the season series against the Islanders with a record of 2-5-1. Semyon Varlamov shut the rangers out for times. For the Isles at least, it was a fun and exciting 8-game season series with the Rangers.