NEW YORK (AP) — Semyon Varlamov made 24 saves in his first shutout of the season, leading the New York Islanders to a 3-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.
Scott Mayfield, Anders Lee and Zach Parise scored in the third period. Brock Nelson finished with three assists as the Islanders won for the sixth time in eight games.
Varlamov’s 35th career shutout included a key stop on Colin White in the final minute of the second period.
“He’s played some really good hockey of late,” teammate Casey Cizikas said of Varlamov. “For him to get a shutout tonight, it just speaks volumes of his preparation, his mentality and the way he comes to the rink every single day so we’re excited for him.”
Varlamov last recorded a shutout on May 1 of last season, a 3-0 win against the New York Rangers. The Russian goaltender had a career-high seven shutouts during the 2020-21 season.
Mayfield put New York ahead to stay when he picked up a loose puck in the slot and buried a wrist shot 9:49 into the third. Nelson and Lee assisted on Mayfield’s third of the season.
The Islanders improved to 22-7-5 when scoring first this season.
“It’s a patient game, they found a way to get one first,” Senators forward Chris Tierney said. “In a game like that, whoever scores first usually wins.”
Anton Forsberg made 24 saves, but the Senators fell for the fifth time in six games. Mathieu Joseph debuted for Ottawa after he was acquired from Tampa Bay at the NHL trade deadline.
“I loved our play away from the puck,” Senators coach D.J. Smith said. “We didn’t shoot ourselves in the foot till probably 10 minutes to go. That’s part of maturity, is just being willing to not give anything up.”
Lee buried a rebound at 17:25. The captain got his 24th of the season, including 10 in his last nine games.
“We’re every other night at this point where the schedule is condensed and we just kind of regroup and find our legs again for the next one,” Lee said. “Anytime you can string a couple together you kind of keep that momentum rolling and you can build on it. We’ll do that again after dropping one a couple nights ago.”
Parise capped the scoring with an empty-netter in the final minute.
“They made it difficult,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said of the Senators. “We were trying go through the neutral zone and they were trying to jam up, they did a really good job. And you just have to sometimes play the game that’s, play the cards that are dealt.
“I thought in the third we just we just upped our game. We recognized that we can’t mess around through the through the neutral zone and play a little quicker.”
Mathew Barzal had a prime scoring opportunity in the third for New York, but his breakaway attempt was denied by Forsberg, who signed a three-year contract extension worth $8.25 million Monday. Barzal left late in the third and did not return.
The Islanders extended Cal Clutterbuck and Parise in lieu of making any acquisitions at the NHL trade deadline Monday. Clutterbuck signed a two-year extension and Parise will be back for an additional season. Parise signed a one-year contract with the Islanders in the offseason after the Minnesota Wild bought out the final four years of a 13-year contract.
The Islanders are playing 17 games in March, the first time in franchise history they have played that number of games in a single month during a regular season. New York is 7-4-1 so far this month.
Islanders: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.
Senators: Visit the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.
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