Sorokin NYI to start GM3 TONIGHT

EAST MEADOW, N.Y. -- Ilya Sorokin will start for the New York Islanders in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Carolina Hurricanes at UBS Arena on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; MSGSN, BSSO, ESPN2, SN360, TVAS).

The 28-year-old goalie replaces Semyon Varlamov, who started the first two games of the best-of-7 series at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina, and seven of the final 11 games of the regular season.

New York trails the best-of-7 series 2-0.

"We knew we would have to use both goalies," Islanders coach Patrick Roy said Wednesday. "They are both sharp and [Varlamov] faced a lot of shots in the last game, so it would be good to have someone fresh tomorrow."

Varlamov made 34 saves in a 5-3 loss in Game 2 on Monday. The Hurricanes attempted 110 shots, the most that the Islanders allowed this season. Varlamov allowed two goals on 25 shots in a 3-1 loss in Game 1.

Sorokin's last appearance was April 17, when he made 40 saves in a 5-4 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and he has played twice in the past 20 days. He went 25-19-12 with a 3.01 goals-against average, .909 save percentage and two shutouts in 56 games (55 starts), one season after he was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy given to the best goalie in the NHL.

Roy voiced no fear of bringing Sorokin into a series already under way.

"I think the fact that 'Varly' and I have such a good relationship and they help each other," Roy said. "And I think Ilya understood what was going on because Varly was playing so well, and I think it was just normal. I just feel that he's coming into the perfect scenario; we are down 2-0 in the series. Now, he's going in and all he could do is go and enjoy the ride."

Varlamov went 6-1-0 with a 1.85 GAA, .939 save percentage and one shutout from March 28 to April 15. He was 14-8-4 with a 2.60 GAA, .918 save percentage and three shutouts in 28 games (27 starts) this season and has allowed six goals on 63 shots in the first-round series.

Roy said he has liked Sorokin's game recently after some struggles earlier in the season.

"He's been controlling his rebounds better," Roy said. "I felt he was giving too many rebounds in the beginning. I think he's been keeping the puck closer to him."

The Islanders may also be without fourth-line forward Matt Martin, who did not take part in a 45-minute practice Wednesday.

Roy said Martin was day to day and missed the session for maintenance.