photo credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
The Islanders opened the home season at Nassau Coliseum Monday afternoon and made sure not to send home the cardboard fans unhappy. They faced off against the Boston Bruins, a team that the Islanders have not claimed victory in either Nassau or Brooklyn for nearly seven years. That changed on Monday, and you can almost entirely thank Semyon Varlamov for that.
Varly, who was scratched from his start Saturday versus the Rangers after taking a shot up in the jaw area during warmups, picked up right where he left off from his Thursday night victory. Stopping all 27 of the Bruins shots, Varly registered his second shutout of the season and now has not allowed a goal in the first 120 minutes of his season. Jean-Gabriel Pageau would score the lone Islander goal, which would also be his first of the season.
The group of forwards in front of him struggled. They could barely generate scoring opportunities, but were very physical through the night, registering 31 hits, compared to Boston's 26. This game was a defensive clinic. Both team's defenses put on a show, and if you like a good, hard fought defensive battle, this was a game for you. Although the Islanders only generated 17 shots on net, they were all quality shots, rather than taking a shot for the sake of shooting. The penalty kill has again looked wonderful, going a perfect 4-for-4, bringing their season total to 15-for-16. This is also good for 92.9% on the penalty kill this season, the sixth-best in the entire NHL.
The Islanders will look to begin a winning streak this Thursday, as they host the New Jersey Devils in Nassau Coliseum at 7 PM EST.