Semyon Varlamov back in net Friday night as the Colorado Avalanche take on the Vancouver Canucks


Oct 14, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov (1) makes a save against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche will be back at full strength Friday night as they prepare to take on the Vancouver Canucks. Colorado is off to a sluggish 1-4-2 start and the return of Semyon Varlamov will be exactly what this team needs. Varlamov went on the injured-reserve after tweaking his groin in pregame skate on the road last week.

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Varlamov, 26, collected a record of 0-2-1 which wasn’t mainly his fault. Colorado’s defense has mirrored itself in a way from last year, not being able to clear the puck out of their own zone. Varlamov has faced no less than 32 shots in his first three games this season, putting a heavy burden on the Russian net minder.

Back-up goaltender Reto Berra filled the role for Varlamov with a spot-start from Calvin Pickard. Berra has been pretty serviceable for a number two, heck, pretty darn good. Berra is currently 1-0-1 on the season with a 2.07 GAA (Goals Against Average), saving .932% percent of the shots. Berra saved 32-of-36 shots in Colorado’s last game which was an overtime loss to Florida at home.

Despite the loss to a woeful Florida Panthers team, Colorado looked really good on the power-play unit for once this season. The team as a whole went 2-for-5, recording goals on their first two chances. Tyson Barrie collected Colorado’s first power-play goal and captain Gabriel Landeskog was the second. Ryan O’Reilly also had two assists in the loss.

The Colorado Avalanche (1-4-2, 4 points) take on the Vancouver Canucks at home Friday night from the Pepsi Center. Puck-drop is scheduled for 9:00 PM EST, 7:00 PM MST.