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Avalanche to start Varlamov against Capitals

by Rick Sadowski

DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov will start against his former Washington Capitals teammates for the second time in four weeks Sunday at Pepsi Center.

Varlamov stopped 40 shots Oct. 12 in the Avalanche's 5-1 win at Verizon Center. It was his first game against the Capitals since his trade to the Avalanche on July 1, 2011.

Varlamov said after that game he was so nervous his legs were shaking in the first period.

"I think it's always a nice challenge to play against your ex-team," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "It was the same case for me every time we played Montreal. You always want to do well in those games. It's nothing against your ex-team, it's just the pride that comes into play. You want to perform well and you want to have a strong night. I'm sure he is going to be very focused."

The Avalanche didn't have a morning skate Sunday and the Capitals had an optional skate after playing Saturday against the Phoenix Coyotes. The Capitals lost 4-3 in a shootout to end their four-game winning streak.

The Avalanche have won all five home games this season against teams that played the day before. The Capitals are 2-0-1 in the second game when playing back-to-back games.

Here are the projected lineups for the Capitals and Avalanche:


Martin Erat -- Nicklas Backstrom -- Alex Ovechkin

Brooks Laich -- Marcus Johansson -- Troy Brouwer

Jason Chimera -- Mikhail Grabovski -- Joel Ward

Aaron Volpatti -- Michael Latta -- Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner -- John Carlson

Nate Schmidt -- Mike Green

Alexander Urbom -- Steve Oleksy

Braden Holtby

Michal Neuvirth

Scratched: Jay Beagle, Eric Fehr, Dmitry Orlov

Injured: John Erskine (upper body), Jack Hillen (leg)


Ryan O'Reilly -- Matt Duchene -- PA Parenteau

Gabriel Landeskog -- Paul Stastny -- Jamie McGinn

John Mitchell -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Maxime Talbot

Cody McLeod -- Marc-Andre Cliche -- Patrick Bordeleau

Andre Benoit -- Cory Sarich

Jan Hejda -- Erik Johnson

Nick Holden -- Nate Guenin

Semyon Varlamov

Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Scratched: Matt Hunwick

Injured: Alex Tanguay (knee), Ryan Wilson (back)

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