The Upshot: Islanders, Varlamov shutout Chicago Blackhawks 3-0

Chicago Blackhawks v New York Islanders
Chicago Blackhawks v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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94. 3. 106. Final. 0

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Islanders ended their two-game losing streak behind Semyon Varlamov as the Islanders goaltender made 21 saves in a 3-0 shutout win over the Chicago Blackhawks at UBS Arena on Sunday night. The shutout was Varlamov's first of the year, 12th as an Islander, and 37th in his NHL career. Arvid Soderblom made 37 saves for the Blackhawks (7-13-4), who have lost nine of 10.

In the second period, Matt Martin, Zach Parise, and Brock Nelson scored for the Islanders (16-10-0), who had 40+ shots on the goal for the second consecutive game, the first time they’ve done that since March 2018.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

Matt Martin was the best forward on the ice on Sunday and was the game's second star. Martin gave the Isles a 1-0 lead in the second period, but he and everyone else had to wait for it to be confirmed.

While battling with Filip Roos in front, Martin put in a rebound off a Casey Cizikas shot at 8:58 of the second period, but 1:58 went by without anyone realizing (except maybe Martin, who put his hands up while laying on the ice.) The officials looked at it during the TV timeout and ruled it was a good goal after a lengthy review as Martin's shot went off the goaltender's pad and had crossed the goal line.

WHAT WENT WRONG

The start wasn't great again. The Islanders were at best even with the Blackhawks during the first 20 minutes of the game, and it was when Varlamov needed to be at his best. He made several key saves that kept the game scoreless early, stopping Philipp Kurashev from the slot off Max Domi’s feed at 3:42, then getting his right pad on Kurashev’s next chance at 7:36.

STATS OF THE GAME

Per NHL PR, Semyon Varlamov(21 saves) posted his 12th career shutout with the Islanders. Only four goaltenders in franchise history have more: Glenn Resch (25), Billy Smith (22), Rick DiPietro (16), and Tommy Salo (14). 

Islanders defensemen collected three assists on Sunday and now have 19 goals and 40 assists this season. this season. Only four teams have collected more points from their blueline in 2022-23: San Jose (14-55—69), Vegas (9-55—64), Florida (17-47—64), and Los Angeles (10-51—61).

SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME

Maybe you forgot, but the Blackhawks didn't. Early in their game on November 1st, Casey Cizikas' collision with Alex Starklock knocked the goaltender out of the game, and he has remained on injured reserve since with a concussion. Cizikas was suspended a game as a result.

As a result, Cizikas was challenged by Reese Johnson at 2:11 of the first period. The two had a good scrum and then broke apart, but the refs let them gather themselves and get back it with Cizikas eventually getting the better of the bout.

WHAT'S NEXT?

The Islanders take on the St. Louis Blues tomorrow night at UBS Arena.

Puck drop is at 7:30 PM ET.

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