NY Islanders: A look back at Semyon Varlamov's four consecutive shutouts versus the New York Rangers
There's having success against specific teams, and then there's what Semyon Varlamov has been doing to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The veteran goaltender has four consecutive shutouts at the 'World's Most Famous Arena' and will presumably be back in net on Broadway tonight with a chance to keep the remarkable streak going.
Varlamov shutout the Rangers three times in 2021 when, during the shortened 56-game season, each team in the "Eastern Division" played each other eight times. That season opened with back-to-back games at MSG, and the Isles won the opener 4-0 as Varlamov stopped 24 shots for his 28th career shutout and third with the Islanders.
He was scheduled to play the next game as well, but after taking an errant shot to the throat during warmups, he was ruled out, and Ilya Sorokin made his NHL debut in his place, losing 5-0.
Varlamov's second shutout versus the Rangers was a 2-0 win on Feb. 8, 2021, making 30 saves as Casey Cizikas and Matt Martin scored third-period goals. Varlamov made history that night as he became the first Islanders goalie to get two shutouts against the Rangers in a season.
"It's on 'Varly,'" head coach Barry Trotz said after the contest. "Varly was huge for us tonight."
Then, on Apr. 29, 2021, he stooped 25 shots for his league-leading sixth shutout of the season and 250th career win in a 4-0 victory. In that game, Varlamov made seven saves in the first period, 10 in the second, and eight in the third for his 33rd career shutout victory.
"“I like to play at Madison Square Garden. Every time I play here it’s very special to me. There’s a lot of history in this arena. ... Every time I play here I try to have fun.”"- Semyon Varlamov on 4/29/21
The fourth shutout occurred on Apr. 1, 2022. Varlamov was starting on consecutive nights for the first time as an Islander that night and was just as sharp as ever. After a seven-save first period, he made 12 saves in the second period and eight more in the third period.
It was Varlamov's 36th career shutout and was a highlight in an overall disappointing season. The win moved his record at the time to 9-13-2.