Barzal, Varlamov lead Islanders to 2-0 win over Blue Jackets

NEW YORK (AP) Semyon Varlamov didn’t have much time to think about playing since Thomas Greiss was getting the start.

However, Greiss left the game late in the first period and Varlamov had to go right in.

Varlamov got his second shutout of the season, Mathew Barzal had a goal and an assist, and the New York Islanders beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-0 Saturday night.

“I just played (the) game,” said Varlamov, who finished with 30 saves to earn his 27th career shutout. “Sometimes it is easier when you go in and you didn’t think about the whole game. ... It (happened) quick. I just had to go out there and get ready. I only had 30 seconds, I think.”

Islanders coach Barry Trotz believes it can sometimes be good for a goalie to come off the bench in that kind of situation.

“It’s a little bit of shock therapy,” he said. “You have to go in survival mode so you lock right in and go on your instincts and determination and all that. ... He responded well.”

Anders Lee also scored to help the Islanders get a win in their return from an 0-2-1 California trip that ended a franchise-record 17-game point streak.

“We (knew) how important this game (was) for us,” Varlamov said. “We lost three in a row, so it was important to come with our ability and then play our good game. And I think we did a lot of good things today. Played very solid hockey.”

Greiss made nine saves before leaving with 5:54 left in the first period. He skated to the bench during a stoppage in play and told Trotz he wasn’t feeling well and was a little dizzy.

Elvis Merzlikins finished with 25 saves as the 25-year-old Latvian fell to 0-3-3 in his rookie season for the Blue Jackets.

Columbus had a flurry of chances near the midpoint of the third, but couldn’t beat Varlamov, who drew chants of “Varly! Varly!” throughout the period. He stopped a try by Oliver Bjorkstrand from the middle, a shot by Seth Jones from the left circle and Gustav Nyquist’s attempt in front. Varlamov had a stick save on Nyquist in front with 8:42 left.

“Varly did a really good job,” Trotz said. “He made some really timely saves, he looked huge in the net and was real confident all around.”

The Blue Jackets pulled Merzlikins with about 4 1/2 minutes left, and went on a power play with three minutes remaining for a 6-on-4 advantage, but couldn’t beat Varlamov.

“I thought we played well,” Columbus coach John Tortorella said. ”We weren’t able to finish. We ended up with some opportunities. I thought we had some good forechecking. We didn’t score.”

Varlamov’s best save of the second was a glove stop on Bjorkstrand at 8:10, and he also denied Riley Nash on the doorstep about 1 1/2 minutes later to keep the Blue Jackets off the scoreboard.

Barzal made it 2-0 as he skated up the left side, outraced Bjorkstrand on a breakaway, went toward the middle and then beat Merzlikins with a backhander with 3:59 left in the middle period.

“It’s nice to get back (home) and get a quick ‘W’ and feel good about our game a little bit,” Barzal said. “Varly comes in there and plays really well for us. Our (defense) had great gaps and forced a lot of turnovers, which helps our offense, so just a full team effort.”

Lee got the Islanders on the scoreboard just 1:18 in. Josh Bailey got a pass from Barzal on the right side of the goal and sent it back to Lee in the slot, and the captain fired it past Merzilikins for his sixth. It was Lee’s first goal since Nov.1, snapping an 11-game drought.

Lee nearly double the lead about 3 1/2 minutes in, but was denied by Merzlikins. Anthony Beauvillier had a chance six minutes later, but his shot on a rush from the right side was gloved by the Columbus goalie. Merzlikins made a great blocker save on a slap shot by Scott Mayfield with 7:44 left in the first.

Sonny Milano got one past Varlamov with 1:05 left in the first, but it hit the crossbar.

NOTES: Barzal ended a three-game point-scoring drought, and now has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in his last 10 games. ... New York improved to 8-2-1 when scoring first, and 12-0-1 when leading after two periods. ... Bailey was whistled for interference on Jones with 3:01 left with the game’s only penalty. ... The Blue Jackets had scored first in 10 straight games. ... Columbus D Zach Werenski left the game early in the first period. He was down on the ice for several minutes before skating off while favoring his right shoulder and headed straight to the dressing room. The Blue Jackets later announced he would not return. ... The Blue Jackets fell to 0-8-3 when giving up the first goal, and 3-9-0 when trailing after two periods.

UP NEXT

Blue Jackets: Host Arizona on Tuesday night.

Islanders: At Detroit on Monday night to open a two-game trip.

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123T
CLB11-11-4
0000
NYI17-5-2
1102
STARS OF THE GAME
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
J. Anderson RW00030/0016:091
C. Atkinson RW00-110/0012:340
E. Bemstrom RW00000/0012:510
O. Bjorkstrand RW00-150/0018:560
P. Dubois C00-155/4017:452
N. Foligno LW00061/2014:593
V. Gavrikov D00-140/0023:521
B. Jenner C000111/8019:051
S. Jones D00-130/0027:114
D. Kukan D00-100/0022:140
S. Milano LW00-220/0017:191
R. Murray D00-100/0022:431
R. Nash C00043/0010:510
G. Nyquist LW00030/0016:500
D. Savard D00000/0022:083
A. Texier LW00020/2013:100
A. Wennberg C00-105/3013:180
Z. Werenski D00000/0001:280
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
J. Bailey RW01201/1217:240
M. Barzal C11221/4018:160
A. Beauvillier LW00021/0015:581
J. Boychuk D00020/0020:132
D. Brassard C00020/1011:022
C. Cizikas C00038/9016:408
C. Clutterbuck RW00000/0017:306
J. Eberle RW00020/0013:590
O. Koivula LW00011/4009:382
L. Komarov RW00010/0011:493
N. Leddy D00000/0018:550
A. Lee LW10240/2015:044
M. Martin LW00020/0015:005
S. Mayfield D00110/0019:421
B. Nelson C00037/4015:400
A. Pelech D01100/0021:493
R. Pulock D00110/0021:540
D. Toews D00110/0017:270
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
E. Merzlikins (L)272250.92656:37
GOALIESSA
E. Merzlikins (L)27
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
T. Greiss (W)9091.00014:06
S. Varlamov 300301.00045:54
GOALIESSA
T. Greiss (W)9
S. Varlamov 30
Gustav Nyquist shot on goal (Snap shot)
CLB:GoalsShots
NYI:GoalsShots
Full Play By Play
GOALS
    • 2ND PERIOD
      • NYI
        16:01GOAL Mathew Barzal (Snap shot), Assist: Adam Pelech
    • 1ST PERIOD
      • NYI
        01:18GOAL Anders Lee (Snap shot), Assists: Josh Bailey and Mathew Barzal
    PENALTIES
    • 3RD PERIOD
      • NYI
        16:59Josh Bailey penalty Interference - 2 min.
        TEAM STATS
        CLB
        NYI
        Shots on Goal3927
        Goals in Power Play00
        Faceoff Wins2519
        Penalties01
        Major Penalties00
        Minor Penalties01
        Misconducts00
        TEAM STATS
        CLB
        Shots on Goal39
        Goals in Power Play0
        Faceoff Wins25
        Penalties0
        Major Penalties0
        Minor Penalties0
        Misconducts0
        123T
        CLB11-11-4
        0000
        NYI17-5-2
        1102
        STARS OF THE GAME
        0.0 %SHOT %7.4 %
        0.926 %SAVE %1.000 %
        SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
        J. Anderson RW00030/0016:091
        C. Atkinson RW00-110/0012:340
        E. Bemstrom RW00000/0012:510
        O. Bjorkstrand RW00-150/0018:560
        P. Dubois C00-155/4017:452
        N. Foligno LW00061/2014:593
        V. Gavrikov D00-140/0023:521
        B. Jenner C000111/8019:051
        S. Jones D00-130/0027:114
        D. Kukan D00-100/0022:140
        S. Milano LW00-220/0017:191
        R. Murray D00-100/0022:431
        R. Nash C00043/0010:510
        G. Nyquist LW00030/0016:500
        D. Savard D00000/0022:083
        A. Texier LW00020/2013:100
        A. Wennberg C00-105/3013:180
        Z. Werenski D00000/0001:280
        SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
        J. Bailey RW01201/1217:240
        M. Barzal C11221/4018:160
        A. Beauvillier LW00021/0015:581
        J. Boychuk D00020/0020:132
        D. Brassard C00020/1011:022
        C. Cizikas C00038/9016:408
        C. Clutterbuck RW00000/0017:306
        J. Eberle RW00020/0013:590
        O. Koivula LW00011/4009:382
        L. Komarov RW00010/0011:493
        N. Leddy D00000/0018:550
        A. Lee LW10240/2015:044
        M. Martin LW00020/0015:005
        S. Mayfield D00110/0019:421
        B. Nelson C00037/4015:400
        A. Pelech D01100/0021:493
        R. Pulock D00110/0021:540
        D. Toews D00110/0017:270
        GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
        E. Merzlikins (L)272250.92656:37
        GOALIESSA
        E. Merzlikins (L)27
        GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
        T. Greiss (W)9091.00014:06
        S. Varlamov 300301.00045:54
        GOALIESSA
        T. Greiss (W)9
        S. Varlamov 30
        STARS OF THE GAME
        123T
        CLB11-11-4
        0000
        NYI17-5-2
        1102
        SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
        J. Anderson RW00030/0016:091
        C. Atkinson RW00-110/0012:340
        E. Bemstrom RW00000/0012:510
        O. Bjorkstrand RW00-150/0018:560
        P. Dubois C00-155/4017:452
        N. Foligno LW00061/2014:593
        V. Gavrikov D00-140/0023:521
        B. Jenner C000111/8019:051
        S. Jones D00-130/0027:114
        D. Kukan D00-100/0022:140
        S. Milano LW00-220/0017:191
        R. Murray D00-100/0022:431
        R. Nash C00043/0010:510
        G. Nyquist LW00030/0016:500
        D. Savard D00000/0022:083
        A. Texier LW00020/2013:100
        A. Wennberg C00-105/3013:180
        Z. Werenski D00000/0001:280
        Total0003925/190-17
        SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
        J. Bailey RW01201/1217:240
        M. Barzal C11221/4018:160
        A. Beauvillier LW00021/0015:581
        J. Boychuk D00020/0020:132
        D. Brassard C00020/1011:022
        C. Cizikas C00038/9016:408
        C. Clutterbuck RW00000/0017:306
        J. Eberle RW00020/0013:590
        O. Koivula LW00011/4009:382
        L. Komarov RW00010/0011:493
        N. Leddy D00000/0018:550
        A. Lee LW10240/2015:044
        M. Martin LW00020/0015:005
        S. Mayfield D00110/0019:421
        B. Nelson C00037/4015:400
        A. Pelech D01100/0021:493
        R. Pulock D00110/0021:540
        D. Toews D00110/0017:270
        Total2302719/252-37
        GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
        E. Merzlikins (L)272250.92656:37
        GOALIESSA
        E. Merzlikins (L)27
        GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
        T. Greiss (W)9091.00014:06
        S. Varlamov 300301.00045:54
        GOALIESSA
        T. Greiss (W)9
        S. Varlamov 30
        GOALS
          • 2ND PERIOD
          • 1ST PERIOD
          PENALTIES
          • 3RD PERIOD
              • 3RD PERIOD
              • 2ND PERIOD
              • 1ST PERIOD

              123T
              CLB11-11-4
              0000
              NYI17-5-2
              1102
              TEAM STATS
              3.00
              GF AVG
              3.50
              GA AVG
              .77
              Power Play
              3.05
              GF AVG
              2.64
              GA AVG
              .45
              Power Play
              All times are US/Eastern.