Semyon Varlamov couldn’t have gotten off to a better start to the 2020-21 campaign. Well, actually it was mathematically possible for him to do slightly better over his first three starts.
Varlamov allowed a goal at 2:10 of the second period to New Jersey’s Nathan Bastian on Thursday. It was his first goal surrendered this season, ending his shutout streak at 142:10 minutes. He shook it off and went right back to work, stopping every other shot he faced en route to a 4-1 victory for his Islanders.
The question is where Varlamov goes from here. He’s an above average starter, but he’s typically not an elite one. In his entire career, he’s only gotten Vezina Trophy votes once, back in 2012-13 when he finished in second place with a 41-14-6 record, 2.41 GAA, and .927 save percentage in 63 games with Colorado. He’ll hit rough patches this season and at the end of the day, he’ll probably have solid numbers. For now though, there’s no goaltender hotter than him.
BOSTON 5 PHILADELPHIA 4 (SO)
After struggling to get going offensively in their first three games, the Bruins managed to score four goals in the third period to salvage this contest. The Bruins’ regulation goals were scored by Charlie Coyle, Nick Ritchie, Jack Studnicka, and Brandon Carlo. Jake DeBrusk netted the shootout winner.
James van Riemsdyk scored a pair of goals for Philadelphia. He has three goals and five points in five contests this season.
David Krejci assisted on two of Boston’s goals. That gives him three assists in four games.
Tuukka Rask stopped 22 of 26 shots in regulation time. He was also perfect in three shootout rounds.
Carter Hart kicked out 39 of 43 shots before the shootout. He was beaten once in three shootout rounds.
NY ISLANDERS 4 NEW JERSEY 1
Nathan Bastian netted the lone Devils goal. It was his first point in four contests in 2020-21.
Jordan Eberle scored two goals, including the game-winner. He’s up to two goals and three points in four games.
Mathew Barzal scored a goal and registered two assists. That gives him four points in four contests.
Semyon Varlamov stopped 30 of 31 Devils shots to continue his tremendous start to the campaign. He has a 3-0-0 record, 0.33 GAA, and .988 save percentage in three starts.
At the other end of the ice, Scott Wedgewood kicked out 31 of 35 shots. It was his first start of the 2020-21 campaign.
TAMPA BAY 3 COLUMBUS 2 (OT)
Brayden Point scored the overtime winner. It was his second goal and fourth point in three contests.
Ryan McDonagh assisted on two of the Lightning’s three goals. He had been held off the scoresheet in his previous two games.
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 23 of 25 Blue Jackets shots. He’s surrendered just five goals in his first three starts of the season.
Oliver Bjorkstrand netted a goal and recorded an assist for Columbus. He’s up to two goals and five points in five games.
Joonas Korpisalo kicked out 34 of 37 shots last night. He has a 1-1-1 record, 2.34 GAA, and .935 save percentage in three starts.
WINNIPEG 4 OTTAWA 1
Mark Scheifele scored the game-winning goal and registered an assist. That gives him two goals and five points in four contests.
Nikolaj Ehlers also had a goal and an assist for the Jets. He has two goals and four points in four contests.
Chris Tierney scored the Senators’ only goal. He’s found the back of the net in three of his first four games.
Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 28 of 29 shots on Thursday. He has a 2-1-0 record, 2.00 GAA, and .935 save percentage in three starts.
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MONTREAL 7 VANCOUVER 3
Joel Armia led the charge for the Canadiens with two goals and two assists. He’s up to two goals and five points in five contests.
Tyler Toffoli netted two goals and registered an assist for Montreal. He has five goals and seven points in five games.
Thatcher Demko stopped 35 of 42 Canadiens shots. He’s had a disastrous start to the campaign, allowing at least four goals in each of his first three starts.
Bo Horvat scored a pair of goals for Vancouver. That gives him five goals and seven points in six contests.
Jake Allen saved 14 of 17 Canucks shots. He didn’t face more than seven shots in a single period.
LOS ANGELES 4 COLORADO 2
Nathan MacKinnon scored a goal and an assist for Colorado. He’s up to two goals and seven points in four contests.
Hunter Miska stopped 23 of 26 Kings shots. Two of the three goals he allowed were scored during Los Angeles power plays. It was the second game and the first start of his NHL career.
Adrian Kempe netted the game-winning goal. It was his second goal and point in four contests.
Drew Doughty also scored a goal for Los Angeles. He has a goal and an assist in four games this season.
Jonathan Quick saved 24 of 26 Avalanche shots. He got his first win of 2020-21 after suffering two overtime losses to Minnesota.