Former Washington Capitals goaltender Semyon Varlamov is having a season to remember so fr in 2021. He started the season with a very impressive shutout streak that finally came to an end against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday.
Varlamov started for the Islanders in their season opener on the road against the New York Rangers on January 14 and made 24 saves in a game the Islanders won 4-0.
He was supposed to start the Islanders’ second game of the season on January 16, also against the Rangers, but thanks to a Cal Clutterbuck shot during warmups that hit his jaw, he was forced to sit out that game. Instead, rookie Ilya Sorokin made his debut in a 5-0 Islanders loss.
Varlamov was able to return two days later against the Boston Bruins where the Islanders shutout the Bruins 1-0. He had 27 saves. Jean-Guy Pageau scored the game’s only goal. This was Varlamov’s second consecutive shutout.
Varlamov’s shutout streak ended at 2:10 into the second period when Nathan Bastien scored for the Devils. But he still had 30 saves in 31 chances. It took 142:10 minutes before an opponent was able to score on Varlamov.
Varlamov is now 3-0 for the season with a save percentage of .988 and a goals against average of .33. The Islanders are now 3-1, with Varlamov the goalie of record in all three wins. This game was also the Devils’ first regulation loss as they dropped to 2-1-1.
The Capitals originally drafted Varlamov in the first round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft with the 23rd pick overall. He made his NHL debut with the Caps in December 2008 and played with the Capitals or with their farm team in Hershey through the 2010-11 season when he was traded to the Colorado Avalanche.
He remained with the Avalanche through the 2018-19 season when he left in free agency. He then signed a contract with the New York Islanders before the 2019-20 season.
‘The Islanders face the Capitals next Tuesday and Thursday at Capital One Arena.
By Diane Doyle