Goalie nods: Berra goes for slumping Avs in Florida

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Reto Berra will start for Colorado tonight ahead of the struggling Semyon Varlamov — but we’re not to read too much into that decision, per head coach Patrick Roy.

“That was what we planned to do,” Roy told the Denver Post, just days after his club handed Columbus its first win of the season on Saturday night.

While starting Berra in Florida may have been the strategy all along, it’s hard not to view this as something more.

Varmalov has been bad this year (1-3-1, .869 save percentage, 3.93 GAA), Berra has been good (1-1, .975, 0.85) and Avs really need a win, having lost three straight.

For the Panthers, Roberto Luongo will get the start.

Elsewhere…

Frederik Andersen goes for Anaheim in Dallas, on the heels of last night’s 1-0 OT loss to the ‘Hawks in Chicago. Andersen has been excellent this season with a .940 save percentage and 1.71 GAA, but the Ducks’ complete lack of offense has him winless in five starts. Antti Niemi is likely for the Stars.

Mike Smith vs. Tuukka Rask in Boston. Smith played last night in Arizona’s 4-3 win over Toronto.

Cory Schneider‘s in for the Devils, and it looks like Sergei Bobrovsky will start for Columbus.

— It’s Chad Johnson vs. Steve Mason in Philly, as Johnson gets back in after allowing seven goals on 26 shots in last Friday’s ugly loss to Montreal. Mason gets another start after a brilliant outing against the Rangers on the weekend, making 37 saves in a 3-2 win.

— Detroit’s giving Petr Mrazek the nod at home against Carolina. No word yet on a ‘Canes starter, though Cam Ward is expected to go.

Jonathan Quick, who’s won four straight while posting a 0.99 GAA and .966 save percentage, is likely to start in Winnipeg. The Jets will probably counter with Ondrej Pavelec, after Michael Hutchinson played against Minnesota on Sunday.

Cam Talbot starts for Edmonton in Minnesota tonight. The Wild are going with Devan Dubnyk.

— St. Louis native Ben Bishop goes for the Bolts tonight at Scottrade, while the Blues will give Jake Allen the start with Brian Elliott (flu) feeling under the weather.

— No confirmations from the late Habs-Canucks start in Vancouver, but it’s expected both No. 1s, Carey Price and Ryan Miller, will be in goal.