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Varlamov, Avalanche seek to continue torrid start

by Rick Sadowski /

DENVER -- Off to the best start in franchise history, the Central Division-leading Colorado Avalanche close out a two-game homestand Sunday evening against the Winnipeg Jets at Pepsi Center.

The Avalanche have posted a 9-1-0 record to tie the 1994-95 Quebec Nordiques, who also won nine of their first 10 games and went 12-1-0 in their first 13 games. The Avalanche also registered 18 points in their first 10 games in the 2000-01 Stanley Cup championship season when they went 8-0-2 and improved to 9-0-2 before losing in regulation for the first time.

Semyon Varlamov will start in goal for the Avalanche, who have won three games in a row. Varlamov has won six of seven starts with a 1.73 goals-against average and .948 save percentage.

Al Montoya is expected to give goalie Ondrej Pavelec a break and make his second start of the season for the Jets. Montoya made 24 saves Oct. 13 in the Jets' 3-0 win against the New Jersey Devils.

Pavelec made 35 saves and stopped all three shootout shots he faced Saturday in the Jets' 2-1 win against the Dallas Stars. The Jets have played three consecutive overtime or shootout games. They lost a 5-4 shootout decision to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday and lost 3-2 in overtime to the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

Here are the projected lineups:


Andrew Ladd -- Bryan Little -- Devin Setoguchi

Evander Kane -- Mark Scheifele -- Blake Wheeler

Anthony Peluso -- Olli Jokinen -- Michael Frolik

Eric Tangradi -- James Wright -- Matt Halischuk

Dustin Byfuglien -- Grant Clitsome

Tobias Enstrom -- Zach Bogosian

Mark Stuart -- Paul Postma

Al Montoya

Ondrej Pavelec

Injured: Jim Slater (lower body), Jacob Trouba (neck)

Scratches: Patrice Cormier, Adam Pardy, Chris Thorburn


Ryan O'Reilly -- Matt Duchene -- Steve Downie

Gabriel Landeskog -- Paul Stastny -- Alex Tanguay

Jamie McGinn -- Nathan MacKinnon -- PA Parenteau

Marc-Andre Cliche -- John Mitchell -- Patrick Bordeleau

Andre Benoit -- Cory Sarich

Jan Hejda -- Erik Johnson

Ryan Wilson -- Nate Guenin

Semyon Varlamov

Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Injured: None

Scratches: Tyson Barrie, Nick Holden

Suspended: Cody McLeod

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