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Semyon Varlamov
Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
Hockey Daily Dose

Semyon Varlamov shuts the door again

by Michael Finewax
Updated On: January 19, 2021, 1:11 am ET

It’s a busy day and night in the NHL as there are 10 games on schedule, seven in the United States where they are celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day and three in Canada.

It was also a special occasion in hockey as it was 63 years ago today when Willie O’Ree broke the color barrier in the NHL when he appeared in a game for the Boston Bruins. It worked out perfectly this season, being on Martin Luther King Day.

Don’t forget, for everything NHL, check out Rotoworld’s Player News, and follow @Rotoworld_ HK and @mfinewaxhockey on Twitter.

COLUMBUS 3 DETROIT 2

It was a great day in traditional pools if you have Bobby Ryan and/or Oliver Bjorkstrand on your fantasy team.

Ryan was credited with both goals for Detroit as well as 17 penalty minutes in a 3-2 loss to Columbus while Bjorkstrand had a goal and an assist as well as 15 penalty minutes.

Bjorkstrand and Ryan went at it (well they tussled for a bit) after Ryan’s goal with 56.8 seconds left in the third, each getting five for fighting and a 10-minute game misconduct.

Pierre-Luc Dubois, scored his first of the season on a pretty goal which will help possible trade partners see how talented he is (if they didn’t know so already), while Alexandre Texier potted his second of the season for Columbus.

Joonas Korpisalo picked up his first win of the season, making 35 saves in the Columbus net while Thomas Greiss was excellent as well, despite giving up three goals on 29 shots.

Dylan Larkin had six shots on goal as well as a five-minute fighting penalty.

Seth Jones also had six shots on goal.

Detroit has looked very good out of the gate after being the worst team in the NHL last year. They are hard working and will give so many teams in the Central Division a tough time.

It was the first win of the season for Columbus who should contend for the final playoff spot.

Robby Fabbri and Adam Erne missed the game as the duo were put on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS 1 BOSTON 0

Semyon Varlamov is amazing! It appears that the only way to get rid of him is for Varlamov to get injured in the warmups. That’s what happened on Saturday when he was replaced by Ilya Sorokin after he shut out the Rangers 4-0 Thursday.

It was more of the same on Monday as Varlamov stopped 27 shots for his second straight shutout of the season as the Islanders defeated Boston 1-0.

Varlamov has stopped all 51 shots that he has seen this season as he is now 2-0 this season. He has not had more than two shutouts in any season since 2014-15 when he had five as a member of the Colorado Avalanche.

Tuukka Rask was almost perfect as well, stopping 16-of-17 shots to see his record drop to 1-1-0. Rask has given up three goals on 39 shots this season.

He was beaten by Jean-Gabriel Pageau who batted the puck out of the air past Rask with only 4:09 left in the third period. It was Pageau’s first goal of the season after he had 26 last season in a year split between Ottawa and the Islanders.

Nick Ritchie led both teams with five shots on goal while Brad Marchand had five.

Both Jeremy Lauzon and Cal Clutterbuck had seven hits apiece.

Matt Grzelcyk left the game late in the third after he was injured. There was no update after the contest.

TORONTO 3 WINNIPEG 1

Frederik Andersen gave up nine goals in two games coming into the Jets game and was faced with a challenge in net as Jack Campbell looked good and steady in his first start of the season Saturday. Andersen needed a strong game and that’s exactly what the Maple Leafs received in a 3-1 win over Winnipeg.

Andersen kicked out 27-of-28 shots for his second win of the season, the first one coming on opening night in a 5-4 shootout win over Montreal. The stellar performance holds off Campbell and re-establishes Andersen as the Maple Leafs top netminder.

Mitch Marner led the way offensively for Toronto with two goals, giving him five points in his last two contests. John Tavares opened the scoring with a power play goal 5:28 into the second period.

Kyle Connor scored the lone goal for the Jets. It was his second of the year in the Jets second game as Winnipeg still has four games remaining this week.

Connor Hellebuyck was outstanding in goal for the Jets, stopping 35-of-37 shots but seeing his record fall to 1-1-0.

Zach Hyman had a whopping 10 shots on goal.

BUFFALO 6 PHILADELPHIA 1

It was a big night for the stars of the Sabres as well as a lesser light as Taylor Hall and Jack Eichel each had three assists while Sam Reinhart and Curtis Lazar each had a pair of goals in Buffalo’s easy 6-1 win over Philadelphia.

It wasn’t the greatest of nights for Flyers netminder Carter Hart. He came into the game with a 2-0 record to go with a 2.51 GAA and a .925 save percentage but he gave up four goals on 22 shots before he was pulled just past the halfway mark of the second period. Brian Elliott saw his first action of the season as he mopped up for Hart, giving up a pair of third period goals, while making 13 saves.

Carter Hutton made 21-of-22 saves for the Sabres, losing his shutout with just 2:05 left in the third period as Nicolas Aube-Kubel scored for Philly. Hutton evened his record at 1-1-0 as he gave up five goals on 27 shots in the Sabres opener to Washington.

Henri Jokiharju and Victor Olofsson on the power play, also scored for Buffalo.

Reinhart led the way with six shots on net.

The Sabres were two-for-four on the power play while Philadelphia failed to score on their only opportunity.  

Linus Ullmark was unavailable due to personal reasons so the Sabres had to call up Jonas Johansson from the taxi squad to serve as the backup to Hutton.

ST. LOUIS 5 SAN JOSE 4

Jordan Kyrou’s second goal of the season, just past the halfway mark of the third period, was the winner as the St. Louis Blues rebounded from an 8-0 shellacking at the hands of Colorado Friday and beat the San Jose Sharks 5-4 Monday night.

Justin Faulk scored twice for the Blues, as he looked to be the offensive force St. Louis thought they were getting when they dealt for him before the start of the 2019-20 season and then promptly signed him to a seven-year contract. He disappointed last season with only five goals and 16 points in 69 games but showed his offensive ability Monday night.

Brayden Schenn and Mike Hoffman also scored for the Blues.

Logan Couture led the way for San Jose with two goals and an assist. Brent Burns scored and added a pair of helpers for his first three points of the season.

Kevin Labanc with his first of the campaign, opened the scoring for both sides.

Tomas Hertl and Colton Parayko each had two assists.

Faulk had eight shots on goal.

Torey Krug was a plus-three and picked up an assist, his first point as a Blue.

Jordan Binnington picked up the win despite giving up four goals on 26 shots. He was pulled from his last start after giving up four goals on 24 shots so look for Ville Husso to get the start on Wednesday when the two teams face each other.

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CAROLINA 4 NASHVILLE 2

James Reimer made his first start of the season a good one as he turned aside 31 Nashville shots as the Hurricanes defeated the Predators 4-2.

Pekka Rinne also made his first start of the season after Juuse Saros started the first two for Nashville, winning both. Rinne made 20 saves and gave up three goals in taking the loss. Rinne looks to be close to the end of his career after a poor 2019-20 season and at the age of 38, this could well be his last season in North America.

Andrei Svechnikov, Sebastian Aho and Vincent Trocheck all had a goal and an assist for the winners. Svechnikov and Aho are the future of the Hurricanes as well as the present. Svechnikov has three goals and five points in three games while Aho scored his first of the season and has a pair of helpers.

Nino Niederreiter scored his second of the season, an empty netter, to complete the win.

Viktor Arvidsson had a goal and assisted on Filip Forsberg’s third of the campaign.

Warren Foegele had six shots on net.

The Hurricanes were one-for-four on the power play while Nashville scored on one of five chances.

Ryan Ellis had four blocked shots to go with three hits and four shots on goal.

CALGARY 5 VANCOUVER 2

Jacob Markstrom beat his former Vancouver teammates for the second time in three nights as he stopped 25 shots in a 5-2 win.

Markstrom left the Canucks as a UFA in the off-season and signed a six-year deal with Calgary after the Canucks signed former Washington netminder Braden Holtby early on the opening day of free agency.

It was Thatcher Demko between the pipes for Vancouver on Monday night and he gave up four goals on 31 shots in taking the loss.

Johnny Gaudreau led the way for Calgary, scoring once and adding an assist. After a tough 2019-20 season in which he had 58 points in 70 games after a career-high 99 points the previous season, Gaudreau looks to be back on track with two goals and four points in three games.

Defensemen Mark Giordano and Rasmus Andersson each scored their first of the season while Mikael Backlund and Elias Lindholm also scored. Lindholm’s goal was the backbreaker for Vancouver as he made it 3-1 on the power play with just two seconds left in the second period.

Jake Virtanen and Tyler Myers each scored their first of the season for Vancouver. J.T. Miller returned to action for the first time this season as he was in COVID-19 protocol. He assisted on Virtanen’s first period goal.

Sean Monahan had a pair of assists.

Giordano had six shots on goal.

The Flames were two-for-seven on the power play while Vancouver failed to score on four opportunities.

MONTREAL 3 EDMONTON 1

Jake Allen made his Montreal debut on Monday and it was a successful one as he stopped 25 shots to lead the Canadiens to a 3-1 win over Edmonton and sweep the two-game series.

Allen had a shutout going until the 17:51 mark of the third when Devin Shore scored a shorthanded goal.

The Canadiens scored once in each period, led by Alexander Romanov’s first of his NHL career in the opening frame.

Shea Weber made it 2-0 in the second on the power play while Artturi Lehkonen scored shorthanded in the third.

Mikko Koskinen made 31 saves in the Oilers cage and took his second loss of the season.

Connor McDavid was held pointless for the second time in four games as the Canadiens held him to only one shot on goal.

ANAHEIM 1 MINNESOTA 0

John Gibson turned aside all 34 shots as the Ducks picked up their first win of the season with a 1-0 win over the Minnesota Wild. Gibson, the Ducks best player at this time, evened his record at 1-1-1 and has a 2.02 GAA with a .937 save percentage after the shutout win.

Nicolas Deslauriers scored the lone goal of the contest as he took a gorgeous feed from Kevin Shattenkirk and easily beat Cam Talbot at the 4:09 mark of the final stanza. Carter Rowney picked up the secondary assist.

Talbot stopped 26 shots but it wasn’t enough as his record dropped to 2-1-0. He improved his peripheral stats as he has a 2.26 GAA and a .926 save percentage.

Nico Sturm had six shots on goal for Minnesota while Zach Parise had five.

VEGAS 4 ARIZONA 2

The Golden Knights fought back from a two-goal deficit with four unanswered goals and defeated the Arizona Coyotes in the opening contest of a four-game set.

Arizona is in Vegas all week to play the Golden Knights, one of the nuances of the new divisional setup as well as COVID-19.

Robin Lehner was outstanding in goal, turning aside 31 shots for his second win of the season as the Golden Knights are a perfect 3-0 in Western Division play.

Reilly Smith scored twice with Max Pacioretty and Chandler Stephenson also scoring.

The Coyotes got off to a 2-0 lead on a shorthanded goal by Tyler Pitlick and a power play effort from Nick Schmaltz. It was the first of the season for both.

Darcy Kuemper gave up three goals on 27 shots in taking the loss.

Pacioretty had six shots on net.

Alec Martinez had seven blocked shots.

NIGHTLY LEADERS

Goals

Sam Reinhart – 2

Curtis Lazar - 2

Bobby Ryan – 2

Mitch Marner – 2

Justin Faulk – 2

Logan Couture – 2

Reilly Smith - 2

Assists

Jack Eichel – 3

Taylor Hall – 3

Brent Burns – 2

Tomas Hertl – 2

Colton Parayko – 2

Sean Monahan – 2

Shots on Goal

Zach Hyman – 10

Justin Faulk - 8

Sam Reinhart – 6

Nico Sturm - 6

Dylan Larkin – 6

Seth Jones – 6

Nick Ritchie – 6

Max Pacioretty - 6

Warren Foegele – 6

Mark Giordano - 6

Hits

Rasmus Ristolainen – 8

Cal Clutterbuck – 7

Jeremy Lauzon - 7

Penalty Minutes

Bobby Ryan -17

Oliver Bjorkstrand - 15

Michael Finewax

Michael Finewax is entering his 16th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.