Semyon Varlamov stopped everything – including a hard-crashing Chicago player late in the third period.
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, the collision took its toll: sending the Colorado goaltender flying into the net and knocking him out of the game.
Varlamov stopped 30 shots before leaving with an apparent injury, and the Avalanche continued their playoff push with a 5-0 victory over the Blackhawks on Friday night.
Colorado coach Jared Bednar had no update on Varlamov’s status after the victory.
Varlamov was cruising along until Blackhawks forward Tomas Jurco tumbled into his left pad with 6:25 remaining. Varlamov was looked at by trainers before Jonathan Bernier skated in to finish the game.
Bernier, who stopped three shots, and Varlamov combined for the first team shutout in franchise history, according to the Avalanche.
Losing Varlamov – who has a history of groin issues – would be a blow for an Avalanche squad that remains in contention a season after finishing with a league-worst 48 points.
”Varly keeps us in it for a while and then we get our legs going,” Bednar said. ”We have to take care of our business. That’s all we can do.”
Collin Delia stopped 31 shots for last-place Chicago. He made his NHL debut the night before, but left in the third due to cramps. That opened the door for Scott Foster, a 36-year-old accountant who made an emergency appearance and became an instant feel-good story.
Delia was impressed by the speed of the Avalanche, whose scoring attack was led by Sven Andrighetto’s two goals . Tyson Barrie, Mikko Rantanen and Tyson Jost also scored.
”Very skilled,” Delia said. ”It’s good for me to get in there and see that Ryan Grant Jersey
, see a dominant team like them, how they move the puck.”
Colorado converted each of its three power plays. Rantanen’s goal with the man advantage in the third came off a feed from Nathan MacKinnon, who now has 93 points. It’s the most by an Avalanche player since Joe Sakic had 100 in 2006-07.
Barrie gave the Avalanche a 2-0 lead at 8:14 of the second period with a shot near the blue line. Barrie then saved a potential goal minutes later when he swatted away a puck that had trickled through the pads of Varlamov, who was back in net after missing a game with an illness.
”It was probably my fault that the puck was even that close to the goal line,” Barrie said. ”So, it’s fortunate that I could get a stick on it a couple of times.”
Andrighetto scored the game’s first goal on a power play late in the first period. He skated in, split two defensemen and lifted a shot over Delia for his first goal since Dec. 23 at Arizona. He has missed a total of 31 games this season with what’s been termed by the team as a lower-body injury.
”Definitely a big win for us and we’ve got to keep that going,” Andrighetto said.
Chicago called up goaltender J-F Berube on the heels of Foster’s appearance against Winnipeg on Thursday. Foster was summoned into action when starter Anton Forsberg was hurt during pregame and Delia, who was just recalled from the minors, went out with cramps.
The NHL adjusted its rules last summer to mandate that teams have an emergency goalie present for all home games ready to fill in for either side. Foster, a former goaltender at Western Michigan University David Bakhtiari Jersey
, stopped all seven shots.
Foster made an immediate impression.
”What are the chances that someone else ever gets to do that again?” Delia said. ”It was good for him and the boys really rallied around him.”
NOTES: Blackhawks D Blake Hillman made his NHL debut. He recently signed a two-year deal with the team after playing down the road at the University of Denver. … Bernier is quickly mending after suffering a cut on his finger that became infected. ”It was pretty bad,” Bernier said. ”Lucky enough, didn’t need surgery.” … Avalanche D Erik Johnson was a late scratch with a lower-body injury. … It was the Avalanche’s 27th home win, which is tied for second-most in franchise history.
Blackhawks: At St. Louis on Wednesday.
Avalanche: Start a three-game trip Sunday in Anaheim.
Long after the final joint practice between the New York Jets and Washington Redskins wrapped up, the quarterbacks kept chatting.
Apart from the on-field workouts, those moments gave Alex Smith a chance to get to know Jets rookie Sam Darnold a little bit. But rather than dole out advice from one high draft pick to another after 12 NFL seasons, Washington's veteran starter wants Darnold to chart his own path as a rookie.
"All these situations are different," Smith said. "He's got some good guys in his QB room to lean on that have played a lot of ball, so he certainly didn't need to hear me tell him anything. I think my rookie year's probably more of an example of what not to do as opposed to what to do."
Before he can potentially earn the Jets' starting job, Darnold could get the nod against Smith in the teams' next preseason game Thursday night. Coach Todd Bowles would only say, "All of our quarterbacks need to be ready to play Reuben Foster Jersey
," but Darnold took the majority of first-team snaps this week and impressed the Redskins.
Cornerback Josh Norman compared Darnold's decision-making skills to Philadelphia's Carson Wentz and Dallas' Dak Prescott and found out firsthand that Darnold doesn't throw like a rookie.
"This little kid is not mistakes and he's really accurate," Norman said. "It's kind of like, dang. You get rookies in here, you're trying to like mess with them and bait them a little bit into thinking that he was going to throw a route that you know you could make a play on, and he's not having it. And it's so crazy to see that at an early age."
Fully aware of his early age, Darnold wants to be faster at calling plays and breaking the huddle. Bowles wants to see the USC product catch up on the playbook and knows the best experience comes from game action.
"He studies his playbook and he goes out and tries to execute on the field and he tries to learn, which is great," Bowles said. "You can't see growth until years pass by, to a degree. I'm not going to measure him day-by-day from a growth standpoint in three weeks."
Smith doesn't feel qualified to judge Darnold's game cover to cover but liked what he saw at workouts this week.
"Just from afar, I thought he looked good," Smith said. "He has a great skillset Youth Jake McCabe Jersey
, can really throw it. He moves around well. I think he has good eyes."
Darnold, the third overall pick, actually looks a lot like Smith after the 49ers took him first in the 2005 draft. But it's not on Smith to tutor Darnold; that's up to veteran Jets Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater.
The 39-year-old McCown is competing with Darnold for the starting job but has nothing but nothing but positive early impressions.
"More than anything (he) does a good job of taking the classroom to the grass pretty efficiently. It doesn't take him multiple meetings and walkthroughs and different things," McCown said. "So far everything you look for to play the position, whether it's just the desire and the want to and all that, all of those things are there and you have to have that in order to have a chance in this league."
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