The New York Islanders defeated the Philidelphia Flyers 4-0 last night, as they take a 1-0 lead in the series. Game 1 has gone to the Island a lot recently. The isles took game one against the Penguins, Panthers, Capitals, and now Flyers, all in 2 years. This was not your average game one, though. This was not the back n’ forth neutral zone trap play that everyone was expecting. No, last night was domination from both teams. The Isles killed it in the 1st and 3rd period, but the Flyers won the second period. Despite this, the Islanders exercised their second-round demons. No wins in the second round for four years, until last night. And there were two key players who helped accomplish that.
How many goals did that second-round pick that Greene was traded for, score? That’s right, no one knows. Lou Lamoriello was laughed at by the critics for trading a 2nd round pick for a 38-year-old defenseman. This trade keeps looking better and better for the Islanders. Andy Greene opened up the scoring last night with a wicked shot from the blue line that snuck right under Carter Hart’s glove.
This was the first time in 10 years that Greene scored a playoff goal. It couldn’t have happened at a better time, though. This goal gave the Islanders the momentum they needed to shutout the Flyers. Greene also had an incredible skate save in the defensive zone. Travis Konecny had a wide-open net, and Greene shut it down with his right skate. Andy Greene was phenomenal last night.
The MVP chants just keep getting louder for goalie Semyon Varlamov. This marks the first time in Islanders history that a goalie had back to back shutouts in the playoffs. Varlamov is less than a minute away from breaking Billy Smith’s record for most time without giving up a goal. Just over 136 minutes played with nothing lighting the lamps. Varlamov has been what every Isles fan wanted and more. Varlamov currently has a 1.50 GAA, and a .941 save percentage. 1.50 GAA is a ridiculous stat for a professional goaltender, especially one in the playoffs. Islander fans used to be afraid when a puck went on the net, but not anymore.
The Islanders have a long road to go if they want to hoist the Stanley Cup, but taking game one will definitely help on their journey.