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Barry Trotz opts to stay with Semyon Varlamov after tough start

Philadelphia Flyers right wing Nicolas Aube-Kubel (62) knocks

Philadelphia Flyers right wing Nicolas Aube-Kubel (62) knocks the net off its moorings as New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov (40) looks on during first-period NHL Stanley Cup Eastern Conference playoff hockey game action in Toronto, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP) Credit: AP/Frank Gunn

Semyon Varlamov had given up goals on two of the Flyers’ first three shots. But Islanders coach Barry Trotz stuck with him, and he made 26 saves in the Islanders’ 5-4 double-overtime loss to the Flyers in Thursday night’s Game 6 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.

Trotz seemed to at least hint that he is considering a change to Thomas Greiss for Saturday night’s Game 7.

“It was a tough game. He didn’t get a lot of shots,” Trotz said. “The start wasn’t great, so we’ll see. I thought he made some timely saves, though, and those are tougher games to play when you’re on the other end and getting a lot of shots. I let him battle through it. He’s been a big part of it for us.”

Varlamov has started 14 of the Islanders’ 15 postseason games. He is 9-4 with a 2.00 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage. Greiss made 36 saves in Sunday’s 3-2 win in Game 4 after Varlamov backstopped the Islanders to a 3-1 win with 26 saves in Saturday’s Game 3.  

Emotional return

Forward Oskar Lindblom logged 17:30 without a shot in his first game since Dec. 7. His diagnosis of Ewing’s sarcoma, a form of bone cancer, was announced on Dec. 13 and he finished chemotherapy on July 2.

Lindblom, still nearly bald from his treatments, was honored by stick taps on the ice from both teams during the first period.

He had participated in warmups before the previous two games before being scratched. Flyers coach Alain Vigneault and his teammates have all spoken about the inspiration the team drew from seeing Lindblom working to get back.

“He’s in the gym every day,” Vigneault said. “I’ve rarely seen a young man put himself through what he is putting himself through. What he already had put himself through to get healthy.”

Isles files

The Islanders outchanced the Flyers 107-75 as the Flyers blocked 31 shots . . . The Islanders blocked 29 shots, including five each by defensemen Andy Greene and Devon Toews . . . Mathew Barzal took a game-high nine shots . . . Defensemen Ryan Pulock (36:14) and Adam Pelech (34:25) led the Islanders in ice time.

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

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