Goalie nods: Varlamov versus Dubnyk in ‘playoff-type’ game for Avs, Wild

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A quick glace at the standings tells you how important tonight’s Avalanche-Wild game in Minnesota will be.

The Wild come into Tuesday’s play just two points back of Colorado for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference. The Wild have had the better of the season series, collecting five of a possible six points, but the teams still have two more games against one another this year — and, unsurprisingly, both will roll with their No. 1 netminders at Xcel this evening.

Seymon Varlamov comes into the game looking to erase memories of his previous one — a 5-3 loss to Detroit in Saturday’s outdoor game in Denver. Varlamov allowed four goals on 27 shots to suffer his second straight defeat.

Devan Dubnyk, meanwhile, will look to carry over his effort from his last game.

Dubnyk allowed just one goal on 18 shots in a win over Florida, to cap off what was an otherwise mediocre February. The former Vezina finalist went 4-6-0 with a 2.90 GAA and .900 save percentage last month though, like the rest of his Wild teammates, seemed to respond to the coaching change from Mike Yeo to John Torchetti.

Elsewhere…

— After Jonas Hiller started last night, Joni Ortio is back in for the Flames tonight in Boston. Tuukka Rask is likely in goal for the B’s.

Eddie Lack will return to the ‘Canes net after Cam Ward started the last six games. Cory Schneider will start for the host Devils.

— Two of the three goalies made available at last year’s draft (along with Lack, ironically enough) will face off as Cam Talbot and the Oilers take on Robin Lehner and the Sabres in Buffalo.

Jake Allen, coming off his first win since returning from injury, is in goal for the Blues. Craig Anderson starts for the Sens.

Braden Holtby gets the nod as the Caps host the Pens on NBCSN. Pittsburgh didn’t have a morning skate, but it’s very likely Marc-Andre Fleury will be in net.

— No confirmations from Dallas and Nashville for their game at Bridgestone. Pekka Rinne appears likely, however.

— It’s Roberto Luongo versus Ondrej Pavelec as the Panthers take on the Jets in Winnipeg.

— Battle of the backups in Vancouver this evening: Thomas Greiss starts for the Isles, while Jacob Markstrom goes for the Canucks.