Semyon Varlamov, Thomas Vanek

Capitals cash in on Hockey Day In America, hurt Sabres’ playoff hopes 2-1

Both the Sabres and Capitals came into this game in serious need of a win. The Caps needed one for their confidence while the Sabres were in need of one to stay in the hunt for the playoffs. This time around, the Capitals got the confidence boost they needed thanks to the stellar work of Semyon Varlamov as they beat Buffalo 2-1.

Varlamov made 28 saves to lead the way for Washington. Mathieu Perreault got the Caps going with his offense getting a goal and an assist. The assist came on Marcus Johansson’s eventual game-winner in the third period. Johansson tipped Perreault’s shot out front to beat Ryan Miller.

Without Miller in this game, the Sabres would’ve been run out of the arena. Miller made 37 saves to lead the way for the Sabres who only got one goal from Jason Pominville in the second period. After Miller’s sporadic play of late, getting a huge performance from him today was clutch for Buffalo. Unfortunately for them, giving up two goals was still one too many for the Sabres. For the Sabres, it’s their fourth straight loss at home and third loss in row overall. The Capitals have now won two of their last three after losing four in a row as they try to catch up to Tampa Bay in the Southeast Division.

Teuvo time: Teravainen to open with Toews, Hossa

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six
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Teuvo Teravainen has played both center and right wing over the course of his brief NHL career.

Now, he’s got a new position — left wing — and a pair of shiny new linemates to boot.

Teravainen will open the year playing alongside captain Jonathan Toews and right wing Marian Hossa, per the Sun-Times.

The move could be a boon for the young Finn. Several ex-Chicago wingers thrived playing alongside Toews and Hossa, most notably Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of production Teravainen, who just turned 21 last month, can manufacture on Chicago’s top line. His numbers from last year weren’t spectacular (nine points in 34 games), but he did a solid job of racking up points en route to the Stanley Cup, with 10 in 18 games.

It’ll also be interesting to see how long he sticks with Toews and Hossa.

Head coach Joel Quenneville has been known as a frequent user of the line blender, often switching up his combos at at moment’s notice.

That said, Quenneville is hoping to find some stability with this new-look group.

“[Teuvo will] play there to start the season,” he said. “Hopefully, all year.”

‘Great story’ Janmark surprises, makes Dallas roster

Brian Elliott, Mattias Janmark-Nylen
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Pretty cool story out of Texas, where Mattias Janmark, the 22-year-old rookie that’s played a grand total of nine games in North America, has defied the odds to make the Stars’ opening-night roster.

“It’s a great story,” Dallas GM Jim Nill said, per the Morning News. “We really only planned to have him here for maybe two preseason games and then send him back. But he just kept being one of the best players out there, and he changed our minds.

“It’s a great example of what you can do if you just play hard.”

Nill acquired Janmark, 22, from Detroit at last year’s deadline as part of the Erik Cole trade. Nill was familiar with the Swedish forward from his time with the Wings — he was part of the front office team that drafted Janmark in ’13 — but didn’t think the deal would pay such immediate dividends.

As for Janmark, he didn’t even think he’d be in North America this year.

He has a contract with SHL club Frolunda, where he scored 36 points in 55 games last year. Given he’s barely played in the AHL — a few games with Grand Rapids, a few with Texas — Janmark figured he’d be back in Europe this season.

His strong play in the exhibition season changed all that. Janmark beat out two of Dallas’ touted prospects — former AHL rookie of the year Curtis McKenzie, and ’12 first-rounder Radek Faksa — for a roster spot, and showed good chemistry with third-line center Cody Eakin.

Janmark also performed well on a line with Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky.