The Islanders played their 24th game on Saturday night and Thomas Greiss started a 2-0 win over the Blue Jackets at Barclays Center. That tied the franchise record for the longest streak of alternating goalies to begin the season, according to the NHL.
But Greiss, feeling ill, exited at 14:06 of the first period in favor of Semyon Varlamov. He had stopped all nine shots he faced and the Islanders were leading 1-0. Greiss remained on the bench.
After the game, coach Barry Trotz said Greiss skated over to say he was feeling a little dizzy and that he probably shouldn’t be in there. Trotz added that he has “zero” concern and that there is “zero” indication that Greiss will not be able to travel with the team. The Islanders will play at Detroit on Monday and Montreal on Tuesday.
Kelly Hrudey and Billy Smith alternated through the first 24 games of 1985-86 before Smith started the 25th game.
How long this current streak will continue is in question with Greiss’ unexpected departure and with Trotz perhaps looking to give a hot goalie consecutive starts.
“We’ll probably get this first week out of the way in December and then I think it’s a little bit more game on,” Trotz said. “I think I’m getting to the point if you get a little bit hot with one guy, then maybe you run with him for a while and add a little more competition there.”
The Rangers set the NHL record when Mike Richter and John Vanbiesbrouck alternated for the first 76 games in 1990-91. Richter then started the final four games of the regular season.
Defenseman Nick Leddy logged 18:55 after missing Wednesday night’s loss at Los Angeles after aggravating a lower-body issue that kept him out for three games Nov. 2-7. “I think it will have its ups and downs, but it feels good right now,” Leddy said.
Rookie defenseman Noah Dobson was out of the lineup as a healthy scratch.
Forwards Ross Johnston and Michael Dal Colle were the other healthy scratches . . . The Blue Jackets lost top defenseman Zach Werenski at 3:37 of the first period after he appeared to injure his left shoulder . . . It was the third combined shutout in Islanders history. Their last one was April 4, 1998 when Tommy Salo and Wade Flaherty combined for a shutout against the Rangers . . . Forward Tom Kuhnhackl (injured reserve/lower body), out since Oct. 25, was on the ice with his teammates for a second straight day, but Trotz said there is no timetable for his return. “No, not really,” he said. “We’ve just got to get a couple more days with the group and I think he’ll be ready to go."