Semyon Varlamov of Samara, Russia recorded his third career playoff shutout on Thursday as the New York Islanders defeated the Washington Capitals 4-0 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. With the win, the Islanders eliminated the Capitals as they won the series four games to one.
Varlamov made 21 saves in the four-goal Islanders win on Thursday. He made eight saves in the first period, six saves in the second period, and seven saves in the third period. Four Capitals players led the team with three shots on goal each. They were Alexander Ovechkin of Moscow, Russia, John Carlson of Natick, MA, Nicklas Backstrom of Valbo, Sweden, and Tom Wilson of Toronto, Ontario.
The Islanders were led offensively by Anthony Beauvillier of Sorel-Tracy, Quebec, and Josh Bailey of Bowmanville, Ontario. Beauvillier had two goals, while Bailey had one goal and two assists for three points. The other Islanders goal scorer was Nick Leddy of Eden Prairie, MN.
Varlamov’s two previous playoff shutouts in the National Hockey League came in 2008-09 with the Capitals. That season Varlamov only played six games for the Capitals in the regular season, but at 20 years of age, was Washington’s goaltender in the playoffs. In the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series of 2009, the Capitals defeated the New York Rangers by identical scores of 4-0 on April 20, 2009, and April 24, 2009.
The most valuable player of the Capitals/Islanders series was probably not a player at all. It was Islanders head coach Barry Trotz who seemed to know the Capitals organization better than any member of the Capitals. Well, he should. In 2018, Trotz became the only head coach in Capitals franchise history to win a Stanley Cup. However, the following year he could not come to terms on a new contract with Washington. He ended up with the Islanders, and now finds himself in the Eastern Conference semifinal in the second straight season as the Islanders head coach. Last year the Islanders beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in the opening round.