It might be back to a bit of a goalie juggling act for the Islanders.
Semyon Varlamov made 32 saves in Thursday night’s 7-3 win over the Blue Jackets at UBS Arena as Ilya Sorokin’s backup played for the ninth time in 25 games.
Varlamov (5-3-1), winning on home ice for the first time this season, has a 2.55 goals-against average compared to Sorokin’s 3.19 and a .925 save percentage compared to Sorokin’s .911.
Sorokin (6-4-6) made 32 saves in Tuesday’s disheartening 5-4 overtime loss to the visiting Sharks as the Islanders’ defense collapsed in the third period while trying to protect a three-goal lead. The Sharks scored twice skating six-on-five with their goalie pulled.
“That’s what it will be, in a sense,” coach Lane Lambert said about rotating his goalies before the season-high, six-game homestand opened. “We don’t know if we’re going to go game by game or switch off. But both goalies are playing well. And, certainly, you don’t want one to sit for too long, there’s no question.”
Sorokin had started eight of the Islanders’ previous 11 games.
Bo Horvat extended his point streak to five games … Pierre Engvall opened the scoring at 4:00 of the first period, the third straight game the Islanders have scored first … The Islanders scored a power-play goal for the fifth straight game . . . Julien Gauthier, with an assist, extended his point streak to a career-high three games . . . Defenseman Grant Hutton and forwards Matt Martin and Oliver Wahlstrom remained out of the lineup. Martin missed his 10th straight game and Lambert said he is still not available to play despite being activated off injured reserve with an upper-body issue five games ago . . . Defenseman Sebastian Aho (IR/upper body) participated fully in the morning skate but has yet to go through an off-day practice . . . Tuesday marked Deaf Awareness Night.