Colorado Avalanche

Goalie nods: Talbot goes for Rangers in Cup Final rematch vs. L.A.

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Cam gets Kings

After Henrik Lundqvist beat Anaheim last night, the Rangers will give Cam Talbot the start this evening when they take on the Kings for the first time since last year’s Stanley Cup Final.

Talbot, who’s emerged as one of the league’s better backups over the last season-and-a-half, last played on Dec. 21 against Carolina, stopping all 18 shots faced for his third shutout of the season. The 27-year-old is 3-3-1 on the year with a 2.02 GAA and .928 save percentage, and has just one loss in his last four outings.

No official word yet on who’ll start for the Kings, though Jonathan Quick was the first goalie off the ice at today’s morning skate.

Elsewhere…

Devils at Bruins: Cory Schneider for New Jersey, no word yet on a Boston starter.

Caps at Flyers: Steve Mason for Philly, no word yet on a Washington starter.

Sabres at ‘Canes: Jhonas Enroth vs. Cam Ward

Blackhawks at Wild: Corey Crawford vs. Niklas Backstrom

Stars at Preds: Kari Lehtonen likely for Dallas, Pekka Rinne likely for Nashville.

Sharks at Blues: Antti Niemi vs. Brian Elliott

Sens at Avs: Craig Anderson vs. Semyon Varlamov

Jets at Coyotes: Ondrej Pavelec vs. Mike Smith

Panthers at Canucks: Roberto Luongo vs. Ryan Miller

Video: Varlamov stops a record-setting 54 shots in Avs win over the Blackhawks

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Nathan MacKinnon and Maxime Talbot scored 24 seconds apart in the first period and Semyon Varlamov shut the door making 54 saves as the Colorado Avalanche shutout the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 Tuesday night.

With his performance, Varlamov joined some exclusive company.

Corey Crawford made 22 saves in the loss.

Video: Avs score twice in 24 seconds

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Nathan MacKinnon and Maxime Talbot scored 24 seconds apart in the first period tonight in Chicago to give the Avs an early 2-0 lead on the Blackhawks.

MacKinnon netted his seventh of the season to open the scoring 53 seconds into the first.

Talbot made it 2-0 with his third of the season at 1:17.

Goalie nods: Lack to face Isles for first time since The Meltdown

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All the latest from the crease…

Eddie gets his shot at revenge

Remember the last time the Canucks faced the Islanders? If you don’t, a quick refresher:

Seven goals by seven different Islanders in the third period, erasing a 3-0 Vancouver lead while setting the following marks:

• Tied an NHL record for goals in a road period
• Set a club record for goals in a road period
• Tied a club record for goals in a period (7 vs NYR on 12/23/78)
• Tied a Canucks record for goals allowed in a period
• Set a club record for points in a road period, with 19 points in the 3rd
• Tied a club record for power play goals in a period, with three in the 3rd

On the hook for six of those seven goals? Canucks netminder Eddie Lack, who finished with just 21 saves on 27 shots.

“The guys played well enough in front of me,” Lack said, per the Vancouver Sun. “I think I have to make two or three saves there and I take responsibility for this loss.”

Tonight, the Isles are back in Vancouver and Lack will get the start, his first since Dec. 17. It promises to be a very interesting affair; Lack’s been tremendous over his last five appearances (eight goals on 134 shots, a .940 save percentage) but the Isles are coming in off a disappointing loss in Edmonton, and probably remember last year’s game quite well.

It’s also worth noting that, with Lack getting the start tonight, it’ll likely be Ryan Miller in goal for the Canucks tomorrow when the Florida Panthers are in town — which is projected to be Roberto Luongo’s first game back in Vancouver since last year’s trade.

No word yet on who the Isles will start in goal tonight.

Elsewhere…

Sabres at Devils: Jhonas Enroth vs. Cory Schneider

Sens at Flyers: Craig Anderson vs. Steve Mason

Bolts at Habs: Ben Bishop vs. Carey Price

‘Canes at Preds: Cam Ward for Carolina, Pekka Rinne likely for Nashville.

Sharks at Wild: Darcy Kuemper for Minnesota, no word yet on a San Jose starter.

Blue Jackets at Stars: Sergei Bobrovsky for Columbus, Anders Lindback likely for Dallas.

Avs at ‘Hawks: Semyon Varlamov vs. Corey Crawford

Blues at Coyotes: Brian Elliott vs. Mike Smith

Wings at Oilers: Jimmy Howard vs. Viktor Fasth

Have you noticed? All three Vezina finalists have been pretty average this season

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Barring a dramatic turnaround, we’ll not only have a new Vezina Trophy winner in 2015, we’ll have three new finalists.

If you’ll recall, the finalists for last season were Colorado’s Semyon Varlamov, Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop, and eventual winner Tuukka Rask of Boston, thanks in large part to save percentages of .927, .924, and .930, respectively.

This season, however, those save percentages are .911, .911, and .911, respectively. (Yep, all three are the same.)

In a related story, the Avalanche and Bruins are currently on the outside of the playoff picture after winning their divisions last season, while the Lightning are fortunate to have the league’s top offense to outscore their 22nd-ranked team save percentage.

According to online bookmaker Bovada, Pekka Rinne (3/2), Carey Price (7/2), and Marc-Andre Fleury (7/2) are the favorites to win the Vezina this season.

Related: A brief post on the unpredictable nature of goaltending