Varlamov Stops 30 Shots, Avalanche Beat Bruins 1-0
BOSTON (AP) — Milan Hejduk scored with 12:03 left in the third period and Semyon Varlamov stopped 30 shots for his fifth career shutout, lifting the Colorado Avalanche to a 1-0 win over the Boston Bruins on Monday.
The Stanley Cup champion Bruins have lost two of three to start the season.
Hejduk scored the Avalanche’s first goal of the season. They lost 3-0 at home to Detroit in their opener Saturday night.
Varlamov was acquired from Washington for a pair of draft picks during the summer. He had 36 saves in the loss to the Red Wings.
Hejduk collected a loose puck along the boards, cut to the right circle and sent a wrist shot that slipped inside the right post by Tuuka Rask, who appeared to be partially screened on the shot by defenseman Zdeno Chara.
A few minutes later, Varlamov dove across the crease to make a blocker save on Milan Lucic’s wrist shot from in close.
Rask stopped 35 shots in his first start of the season. Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas played the first two games in goal for Boston.
Rask was tested early and often. The Avalanche had a two-man power play advantage for 27 seconds and kept up the pressure, with Paul Stastny hitting the left post on a backhand bid off a rebound in front.
The Bruins had a pair of good scoring chances, both coming on 2-on-1 breaks in the later half of the second period. On the first bid, Daniel Paille’s pass went between the legs of a streaking Chris Kelly near the midway point of the period.
Varlamov made a left-pad stop on Brad Marchand’s tip from in close late in the period. Varlamov also made a sparkling glove stop on Marchand’s wrist shot from the right circle at the end of a 2-on-1 break while Boston was short-handed early in the game.
The Bruins had a 4-on-2 break early in the third, but Varlamov made a right-pad save on Patrice Bergeron’s shot from the slot.
After the Bruins raised their Cup banner on opening night, then had special pregame introductions on Saturday night for the second game, things returned to a regular-season feel in TD Garden.
There was no mention of the Stanley Cup or champions in the introductions. The in-game ads on the Jumbotron, which showed Chara holding the Cup during breaks in the first two games, were replaced by other photos.
NOTES: The Avalanche were the last team in the Western Conference to score this season. … Colorado played the first of a season-high five-game road trip and is away for seven of nine. … Boston plays its first road game of the season on Wednesday night against Carolina and faces the Blackhawks in Chicago on Saturday before returning home to face Carolina on Oct. 18. … It was the only regular-season meeting between the teams this season.
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