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Islanders go back to Semyon Varlamov for Game 2

Islanders Varlamov

EDMONTON, ALBERTA - SEPTEMBER 07: Goaltender Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders defends his net in the second period of Game One of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs between the New York Islanders and the Tampa Bay Lightning at Rogers Place on September 07, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

After starting Thomas Greiss in each of their past two playoff games, the New York Islanders are going back to Semyon Varlamov for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night.

Varlamov lost consecutive overtime games in the Second Round to the Philadelphia Flyers (giving up nine goals in those two games) prompting Islanders coach Barry Trotz to turn to Greiss for Game 7. When he recorded a shutout in a dominant Islanders’ defensive performance, Greiss was rewarded with the Game 1 start against Tampa Bay on Monday night.

It did not go well.

Greiss was pulled from that game just 10 minutes in after surrendering three goals on nine shots.

He was replaced by Varlamov who allowed five goals on 25 shots in an 8-2 loss.


The starting goalie is not the only lineup change for the Islanders on Wednesday.

Forwards Derick Brassard and Ross Johnston will also be out of the lineup, while Andrew Ladd and Leo Komarov will play in their places.

This will be Ladd’s first game action since early March and his first playoff game since the 2016 postseason when he was still a member of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Cal Clutterbuck is also in the lineup after being limited to just six minutes on Monday.

No. 2 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. No. 6 New York Islanders (TB leads 1-0)

Series preview
Game 1
: Lightning 8, Islanders 2. (recap)
Game 2: Lightning 2, Islanders 1 (recap)
Game 3:
Friday, Sept. 11, 8 p.m. ET – USA (livestream)
Game 4:
Sunday, Sept. 13, 3 p.m. ET – NBC (livestream)
*Game 5:
Tuesday, Sept. 15, 8 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Game 6:
Thursday, Sept. 17, 8 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Game 7:
Saturday, Sept. 19, 7:30 p.m. ET – NBC

*if necessary

Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Final schedule

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.