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Editorials

Three reasons Islanders can still win second-round series vs Bruins

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 18: Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders looks at his stick during the third period in Game Two of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena on May 18, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh Penguins won 2-1. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 18: Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders looks at his stick during the third period in Game Two of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena on May 18, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh Penguins won 2-1. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
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Semyon Varlamov #40 and Scott Mayfield #24 of the New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Semyon Varlamov #40 and Scott Mayfield #24 of the New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Goaltending

The Islanders have been getting good goalkeeping over the series.

Semyon Varlamov, who entered the series in Game 2 has stopped 78 of the 83 shots he’s faced in the two games he’s played. That’s a  0.940SV%. Just on that number alone, Varlamov (who’s played most of the series between the pipes for the Isles) has been excellent.

The Bruins have been expected to score 4.6 goals at 5on5 in Varly’s two starts. Varly has allowed four goals. He’s effectively stopped a goal he wasn’t supposed to stop. The Islanders don’t have a chance to win either game if not for Varlamov’s efforts.

Yes, that Brad Marchand goal in Game 3 shouldn’t have gone in. Varly was cheating to his right and Marchand was able to squeak in a far-side top-corner winner. It was one hell of a lucky shot from Marchand, but Varly should have had that. But that’s what happens in overtime any shot can win it.

The Islanders goaltenders (specifically Varlamov) need more goal support. The Islanders only scored a single goal over 60 minutes in Game 3. And that single goal didn’t go in until 14:34 of the third period.

Varlamov is doing what he should be doing for the Islanders to win games in regulation, but the offensive side of the squad needs to start doing their jobs.

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