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Varlamov does headfirst dive to celebrate Islanders' 2OT win

Goalie made 36 saves, was named First Star in Game 5 victory

by Pat Pickens @Pat_Pickens / Staff Writer

Varlamov's sliding celebration

NYI@TBL, Gm5: Varlamov slides into the pile

ECF, Gm5: After the Islanders' thrilling 2OT win in Game 5, Semyon Varlamov dashes down the ice and slides into his teammates' celebration

  • 00:11 •

Semyon Varlamov saved the New York Islanders season, then celebrated like he was trying to be safe at home plate.

The Islanders goalie did a headfirst dive into the huddle where his teammates celebrated their 2-1 double-overtime victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final on Tuesday.

Trailing 3-1 and facing elimination in the best-of-7 series, Varlamov made 36 saves, was named First Star, and even helped out teammate Johnny Boychuk after his skate blade failed him while blocking a shot in the first period.

So when Jordan Eberle scored the game-winning goal at 12:30 of the second overtime, Varlamov couldn't help but make a beeline for a full-extension dive to the jubilant Islanders.

"I just jumped because I was so excited for us," Varlamov said. "Our season was on the line today in this game. When we scored that goal, it was just a lot of emotions going through like in that moment. I was just so happy for the guys and I was so happy for us. … We have a chance to continue to play." 

Game 6 is Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS). deputy managing editor Brian Compton contributed to this report

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