On Long Island, Semyon Varlamov returned to the lineup after missing the previous game for the New York Islanders and made 27 saves for his second straight shutout of the season in a 1-0 win over the Boston Bruins.
“I felt fine [Sunday] morning,” Varlamov said. “I skated yesterday and I felt pretty good after practice. … I felt pretty good today.
“I can tell you that’s the best result after two games I’ve ever had. I never got back-to-back shutouts in the beginning of a season. I’ve had some seasons where I felt great, but the outcome was different. I’m glad it happened this way, so I’m pretty happy about the result.”
Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored the game’s only goal with 4:09 left in the third third period.
“Obviously, it was nice to score that goal,” Pageau said. “It was a great play by ‘Pelly’ getting the puck to the net. … It was a great effort the whole game. I thought we played an OK first period, then we came back in the second and in the third we showed a lot of character. We played playoff hockey and we stuck with it, and that’s why we came out on top.”
Both teams exchanged near misses through the contest.
Varlamov missed the back end of the two-game set with the New York Rangers on Saturday after taking a puck off the collarbone in warmups.
“I just think he’s really calm,” New York coach Barry Trotz said of Varlamov. “I think that’s the No. 1 thing is he’s really calm. You look around the League, when goalies are playing really well what you’ll find is there’s a calmness to them. It’s no different than probably a baseball hitter seeing the ball; it’s coming in fairly big to them and seeing it in slow motion.
“He was a big reason that we get a win tonight. Early, I thought he made some really good saves against a very good hockey team. He just calmed our game. He gave us a chance.”
The Islanders improved to 2-1-0.
Boston dropped to 1-1-1 with the loss.
“We’re obviously focused on it, it’s obviously what everyone wants to talk about, is production 5-on-5,” Boston’s Jake DeBrusk said. “It’s one of those things that we’re very aware of. But at the same time, we have confidence in our group. I think we’re really stacked up front.
“Obviously with no preseason you can pretty much use any excuse you want, but we know what we need to do. It’s just a matter of going out and executing. It sounds easier than what it is obviously, but we have faith in this room. It just obviously stings when you lose 1-0 on the first road trip of the year.”
“Big picture, you know you’re doing a good job defending when those are the goals that’s going in,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “On the flip side, no consolation to lose a game like that when you feel like you were the better team.”