The NHL announced Monday that Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov has been named the league's first star for the week ending Dec. 20.
Varlamov went 3-0-0 in the last seven days, recording a 0.67 goals-against average and a .981 save percentage (101-of-103). He has allowed one goal or fewer in each of his previous three starts.
DEC. 14-20, 2015
GAA: 0.67 | Sv%: .981
The Samara, Russia, native began the week by topping the Chicago Blackhawks 3-0 on the road. The win, coming against the defending Stanley Cup champions, helped keep the Avalanche on track for its current season-high five-game win streak. Colorado's goalkeeper stopped 29 shots in the shutout, weathering a 13-shot second-period barrage to propel the Avs victory.
Varlamov followed his stellar performance at the United Center with two great outings at home at Pepsi Center. He made 33 saves in the Avalanche's 2-1 win over the New York Islanders on Thursday before finishing out the week with a 39-save performance in a 5-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.
The 27-year-old has now won six consecutive starts while only allowing six goals in that span, tying the longest stretch of his career for the fourth time. He has made 261 saves on 270 shots for a 0.99 goals-against average and .970 save percentage during his current run (364 minutes).
Varlamov is 7-1-0 in eight starts during the month of December, tying him for the league lead in wins in that time. He has also posted a 1.12 goals-against average and .967 save percentage (483 minuntes, 270 shots, nine goals) during the stretch. His strong play between the pipes has helped the Avs to a league-best (tied) 8-2-0 record in the final month of 2015 as well.
Varlamov has compiled a 12-8-1 record, a 2.45 goals-against average and .921 save percentage in 22 games this season, which includes one shutout. He has 19 scoreless contests in his career.
Varlamov is ranked second in Avalanche history with 118 wins, trailing only former goaltender and current head coach Patrick Roy (262). The young Russian's 230 games played puts him third all-time in the club's annals as well. Peter Budaj (242) and Roy (478) are the only two keepers with more. Varlamov is also tied with Roy for the best save percentage in team history (.918).
Colorado's current No. 1 netminder was named to the Avalanche's 20th Anniversary Team, which was honored in a pregame ceremony prior to the Avs facing the Minnesota Wild on Dec. 7 at Pepsi Center.
This is the Avalanche's second NHL weekly honor of the season. Matt Duchene was previously named the first star of the week on Nov. 16. Varlamov has now been named in the league's three stars of the week five times with the Avs, two of which occurred last season. He was named second star for the weeks of Jan. 5-11 and March 2-8, 2015.
Duchene was also previously named the third star for the month of November.
TJ Oshie of the Washington Capitals and Mikko Koivu of the Minnesota Wild were the named this past week's second and third stars, respectively.