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Thomas Greiss: Semyon Varlamov should be starting goalie for Islanders in Game 5

Semyon Varlamov #40 is congratulated by his teammate,

Semyon Varlamov #40 is congratulated by his teammate, Thomas Greiss #1 after his 2-0 shutout victory against the Washington Capitals in Game Five to win the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 20, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario.  Credit: Getty Images/Elsa

Thomas Greiss believes Semyon Varlamov will be the starting goalie for Tuesday night’s Game 5 against the Flyers at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto with the Islanders holding a 3-1 lead in the second-round series.

“Varly’s has been playing unreal,” Greiss said after making 36 saves in Sunday’s 3-2 win in Game 4, his first start since March 7. “I don’t think there’s much debate.”

Varlamov started the Islanders’ first 12 postseason games, including making 26 saves in Saturday’s 3-1 win in Game 3, and is 9-2 with a 1.69 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage.

Still, Greiss’ performance both in Game 4 and his 20-save relief appearance in the Islanders’ 4-3 overtime loss in Game 2, gives coach Barry Trotz a tough decision.

“Whatever you want, he’s all in,” Trotz said of Greiss. “Then, when you throw him in, he can do a lot of different things.”

‘Knee-on-knee’

Flyers coach Alain Vigneault did not particularly like the hard hit Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck put on defenseman Travis Sanheim in Sunday’s first period.

“There was no doubt that was knee-on-knee,” Vigneault said. “Clutterbuck, he’s a hard player. Walks that fine line between what’s legal and not legal. When he crosses the line, hopefully the referees can see it.”

Clutterbuck was penalized for interference.

Wahlstrom loaned

The Islanders announced forward Oliver Wahlstrom, the 11th overall pick in 2018, has been loaned to AIK of the second-tier Swedish league. The NHL will not begin its next season until Dec. 1, at the earliest, and Wahlstrom can return for training camp. The Islanders previously loaned Simon Holmstrom, the 23rd overall pick in 2019, to the same league.

Still no positives

The NHL on Monday reported zero positive results from the 2,814 COVID-19 tests administered last week, a fifth straight week without a positive in the Toronto and Edmonton bubbles.

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