Varlamov becomes first for Islanders to shut out Rangers twice in season


NEW YORK — Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves to become the first New York Islanders goalie with two shutouts against the New York Rangers in the same season in a 2-0 win at Madison Square Garden on Monday.

Islanders coach Barry Trotz got his 850th win as coach to pass Ken Hitchcock for third in NHL history behind Scotty Bowman (1,244) and Joel Quenneville (931).

Casey Cizikas and Matt Martin scored 2:05 apart in the third period. Martin also had an assist on Cizikas’ goal.

Varlamov also made 24 saves in a 4-0 win at the Garden on Jan. 14, the season opener for both.

Jaroslav Halak is the only other goalie in Islanders history to have two shutouts against the Rangers in the regular season (Jan. 13, 2015 and Feb. 15, 2018). Billy Smith had one in the regular season (Dec. 17, 1975) and one in the playoffs (April 15, 1983).

The Islanders (5-4-2) have won two in a row and have points in four straight (2-0-2).

Igor Shesterkin made 28 saves for the Rangers (4-5-2), who were 3-0-1 in their previous four games. 

Varlamov stopped Artemi Panarin on a breakaway with a glove save on a low shot at 1:57 of the third period. 

Eighty seconds later, he kept the game 0-0 again by going into his butterfly technique to make a save on Mika Zibanejad, who kept the puck and shot it low on a 2-on-1 rush with Chris Kreider.

Cizikas gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead at 11:15, swiping the loose puck into the net. Adam Pelech got the puck on a giveaway by Libor Hajek and quickly shot it. Martin got a touch on it in the slot before Cizikas put it in.

Martin scored from the slot at 13:20 to make it 2-0, redirecting a centering pass from Cal Clutterbuck out of the corner.

Varlamov had 19 saves through two periods. Shesterkin had 21.

The Rangers were 0-for-3 on the power play. The Islanders were 0-for-1.

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