HOW IT HAPPENED
Semyon Varlamov stopped all 34 shots he faced as the New York Islanders defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-0 at Nationwide Arena on Saturday night. Kyle Palmieri scored his third of the season in the first period to open the scoring. Holding onto a 1-0 lead late in the third, Matt Martin put in a rebound past Columbus goaltender Spencer Martin for his first of the year to extend the lead. Pierre Engvall, Sebastian Aho, and Casey Cizikas all had assists for the Isles (4-2-1), who have won two straight after a three-game winless skid. Martin stopped 31 of 33 shots in the loss for Columbus, dropping their record to 3-3-2.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
We didn't hear the cannon! Semyon Varlamov was simply outstanding in his second appearance of the season. Varly is likely to play once a week or when there are back-to-backs and so far has been as sharp as ever to start the season, looking better than he did most of last season. He made 34 saves for his 39th career shutout of his career. It's the first time since the 2015-16 season the Isles have earned nine points in their first seven games.
WHAT WENT WRONG
You'll always take two road points against a division opponent, but this was a win where they'll look back at the game film and be able to point out where they can still clean up things defensively. The Blue Jackets made a big push in the third period, and the 34 shots allowed, surrendering 168 the previous four games, are still too many. Lane Lambert was pleased with the team's battle level throughout the game, especially when Columbus pushed in the third, but acknowledged that there were quite a few close calls.
STATS OF THE GAME
With the shutout, Varlamov and Ilya Sorokin became the first goaltending tandem to each post a shutout this season. The shutout was Varlamov's 14th with the Islanders, moving him into a tie for 5th place on the franchise's all-time list of most shutouts with Tommy Salo.
SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME
There was a new addition to the MSG Network broadcast on Saturday night as former Islander goaltender Cory Schneider joined Shannon Hogan in Columbus. Since making the decision to retire this summer, Schneider has been appearing as an analyst on the NHL Network as is sounding like a natural.
The Islanders are back home on Monday night to host the Detroit Red Wings.
Face-off from UBS Arena is scheduled for 7:30 PM EDT.