Goalie nods: After seven-game absence, Varlamov back for Avs

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Semyon Varlamov will make his first start since Nov. 10 tonight, when the Avs take on the Jets in Winnipeg.

Varlamov, who’s missed the last seven games with a groin injury, is looking to regain his grip on the No. 1 job after backup Reto Berra fared well in his absence.

This hasn’t been a good year for the Russian netminder; he has a 3-6-1 record with an .890 save percentage and 3.26 GAA, a big reason Colorado’s struggled this season and is mired in the Central Division basement.

“Varly needs to be the Varly of two years ago. For us to win games he needs to be our best player,” Roy said, per the Denver Post. “This is how we view our team.”

For the Jets, Michael Hutchinson will start in goal.

Elsewhere…

Jake Allen will look to bounce back from Saturday’s loss to Detroit when the Blues take on the Sabres in Buffalo. The Sabres are going with Linus Ullmark.

— After allowing four goals on 43 shots in a win over Florida, Henrik Lundqvist is back in as the Rangers host the Preds. Nashville hasn’t confirmed its starter yet, but Pekka Rinne appears likely.

— Battle of the backups tonight when Eddie Lack and the ‘Canes take on Michal Neuvirth and the Flyers. This is Neuvirth’s first start since allowing four goals on 40 shots in a loss on Nov. 10.

— The Oilers’ starting gig is apparently Anders Nilsson‘s to lose, as he starts again, this time against Washington. The Caps are going with Braden Holtby, as per usual.

Tuukka Rask is up against the red-hot James Reimer when Boston visits Toronto. Reimer is 5-1-0 in his last six starts with a sparkling 1.31 GAA and .926 save percentage.

Jonathan Quick‘s looking to rebound from a tough outing against Carolina on Sunday — he’ll start in Florida this evening. The Panthers are giving Roberto Luongo the night off, and going with backup Al Montoya.