The New York Islanders extended their winning streak to four games on Saturday night, beating the Nashville Predators 2-0 at UBS Arena.

Semyon Varlamov recorded a 41-save shutout, allowing Noah Dobson’s second period goal to hold up as the game-winner. Kyle Palmieri sealed it with an empty-netter, as the Isles scored their first win against the Predators since Oct. 28, 2017, which snapped a 10-game winless streak (0-8-2) in the intervening six-plus years. Kevin Lankinen stopped 28 of 29 in the loss.

It was a gritty win for the Islanders, who blocked a season-high 33 shots.

“It was playoff hockey, the commitment, the battles, blocking shots, winning battles, a lot of sacrifice out there,” Dobson said. “This time of year, that's what you need. You never doubt that from this group. We've been here before we know what it takes. So the commitment was at an all-time high.”

The win was a massive one for the Islanders (85 points), who held onto third place in the Metropolitan Division. The win keeps the Isles two points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins (83 points), who beat the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier in the day, and two points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers (83 points) who fell 6-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets and are outside of the playoffs.

Recap: Predators at Islanders 4.6.24


Semyon Varlamov was outstanding on Saturday night, but if you don’t want to take this reporter’s word for it, ask Head Coach Patrick Roy.

“He was outstanding. He looked so confident out there. It looked like it was an easy game and I was happy to see him play that way,” Roy said. “He won the game for us tonight.”

It was a champagne shutout for Varlamov who made 41 saves for his 41st career clean sheet and third shutout of the season and first since Nov. 2. He stopped plenty of quality as well as quantity, with Nashville being credited with 17 high-danger chances at five-on-five, per Natural Stat Trick.

“Guys blocked a lot of shots from the especially from [Roman] Josi,” Varlamov said. “He was shooting all night tonight, so the PK was a key for us tonight.”

Varlamov was especially good on a pair of penalty kills in the third period. The 35-year-old showed some veteran savvy by deflecting a Ryan O’Reilly cross-crease feed out of play and thwarted O’Reilly again, getting a blocker on a wrister through traffic. Varlamov gloved a try from 43-goal scorer Filip Forsberg shortly after, one of nine saves he made on Forsberg.

“Some pucks I saw, some pucks I didn't,” Varlamov said. “Luck was definitely on my side today, which is good. I'll take that any day, but overall, we are battling and I like our game.”

The goaltender got some help from an all-in Isles team, who blocked a season-high 33 shots. Eight players had multiple blocked shots, led by seven from Dobson, five from Robert Bortuzzo and four from Alex Romanov.

With the win, Varlamov has improved to 5-1-1 in his last seven games.

“I feel pretty good, but I'm not really focusing on my record, we keep building here and then focusing on the team record,” Varlamov said.

NSH@NYI: Varlamov makes 41 saves to blank Predators


The Casey Cizikas-Bo Horvat-Mathew Barzal line was in fine form on Saturday night.

They had some jump early, out-attempting Nashville 9-3 when they were on the ice, during an opening frame where the Preds out-attempted 27-19. Horvat had perhaps the Isles best chance early, ringing a shot off the post after being sprung on a stretch pass from Ryan Pulock, which didn’t count against his six shots on goal.

That line was on the ice for Dobson’s icebreaker at 9:07 of the second period. Cizikas set a screen in front of the net allowing Dobson’s wrist shot to elude Lankinen.

“I just let those guys do what they do,” Cizikas said of his role on the line. “They're great offensive players. They're great at bringing the play up the ice and creating changes and I'm just there just trying to push [defenses] back, trying to get up there and that's my motto just work and get them the puck.”

Head Coach Patrick Roy gave Cizikas a little more credit, saying that his straight line style is a perfect complement for a pair of creative players. Cizikas finished the game with four shots, seven hits, and two blocked shots.

“I feel like I should have done it before,” Roy said. “I looked at what a guy like Esa Tikkanen did for [Wayne] Gretzky and [Jari] Kurri… Sometimes having someone that plays with energy, fast and well, defensively makes that line even better.”

NSH@NYI: Dobson scores goal against Kevin Lankinen


Dobson scored the game-winner on Saturday night, but the defenseman got the job done at both ends of the ice.

Dobson finished the game with a game-high seven blocks, which is one back of his career-high. That earned praise from Roy, who called out the fact that Dobson has now scored two goals after a 13-game drought.

“He had a strong game,” Roy said. “It's two games in a row now he scores goals, so it's good for him and I hope that when he's playing well, like he did defensively and he scores goals, it show him that he can play both sides and be rewarded no matter what.”


The Islanders host the New York Rangers on Tuesday night at UBS Arena. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.

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