The Upshot: Varlamov and the NY Islanders shut out Predators for fourth straight win

Nashville Predators v New York Islanders
Nashville Predators v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages


Behind 41 saves from Semyon Varlamov, the New York Islanders won their fourth straight game to remain in third place in the Metropolitan division with a 2-0 win over the Nashville Predators on Saturday night at a raucous UBS Arena. Noah Dobson scored for the second straight game at 9:07 of the second period to give the Isles the lead, and Kylie Palmieri found an empty net with 1:19 left to secure the win and playoff position for the Islanders. Mathew Barzal extended his point streak to four games with an assist. Kevin Lankinen made 28 saves for the Preds, who have lost four of five.


The Isles' good fortune on the out-of-town scoreboard on Friday night set the stage for the UBS Arena crowd to be the best it's been for a regular season game in the building's brief history. They were loud and raucous from the start and brought a playoff-type atmosphere. The game against the New York Rangers on Tuesday should also be special.

It was the 41st shutout in the career of No. 41. Varlamov was spectacular and continues to make the decision as to which goaltender to ride the rest of the way a difficult one for Patrick Roy. “He was outstanding. He looked so confident out there. It looked like it was an easy game, and I was happy to see him play that way,” Roy said. “He won the game for us tonight.”

Kiefer Sherwood, Semyon Varlamov
Nashville Predators v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The Islanders blocked a season-high 33 shots in the game to help Varlamov, who also admitted that there was some luck involved. "Some pucks I see, some pucks I didn’t,” Varlamov said. “Couple of times I thought I got lucky. Luck was definitely on my side today, which is good, I’ll take that any day.”


The Islanders played with fire at different points of the game, giving up odd-man rushes early and then getting called for back-to-back penalties in the third period that put their ridiculed penalty kill in a tough situation, but one they survived. There are going to be a few games a season where your goalie steals points and this was one of them.

Nashville played well enough to win, but the Islanders were due to beat them and snapped a 10-game losing streak (0-8-2) against the Preds, dating back to Oct. 28, 2017.


Check out this stat play-by-play announcer Alan Fuehring dropped after the game. It's a crazy stat and even crazier that it would happen this year of all seasons.


Saturday night was Barry Trotz's first time back at UBS Arena as GM of the Nashville Predators, and in the first period, the organization played a tribute video highlighting Trotz's time on Long Island, which received applause throughout. At the video's conclusion, Trotz blew a kiss and touched his heart to the Isles faithful in attendance.


The Islanders are back at UBS Arena on Tuesday night for a game against their cross-town rival, New York Rangers. Face-off is scheduled for 7:00 PM EDT.