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again came up big

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  • again came up big

    DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche are off to a soaring start, even if they pretend theyre nothing more than an average team. Little mind games in order to keep winning them. "Were playing like were a .500 hockey team and not a 14-2 team. Thats the key," Matt Duchene said. "You stay grounded and you stay humble and hungry." Semyon Varlamov stopped 33 shots and Nick Holden scored his first NHL goal to break a second-period tie, lifting the Avalanche to a 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals on Sunday night. Patrick Bordeleau, P.A. Parenteau and Gabriel Landeskog also added goals for the Avalanche, who are off to a franchise-best 14-2 start under new coach Patrick Roy. Before this season, the best mark through 16 games was 13-3 by the 1994-95 Quebec Nordiques, a season before the organization relocated to Denver. "Theyre one of the upper echelon teams, in regard to skating," Capitals forward Brooks Laich said. "They have a quick group." Not too bad in goaltending, either. Varlamov once again came up big against his former team, especially on a 5-on-3 early in the final period to preserve the lead. Varlamov also made 40 saves in a 5-1 win at Washington on Oct. 12. Asked why Varlamov seemed to play so well against Washington, coach Adam Oates said: "Hes been in a zone against everybody so far." The turning point of the game was early in the third period when Cory Sarich was called for hooking to give Washington, the top power play team in the league, a man advantage. And then the Avalanche were whistled for too many men on the ice, setting up a 5-on-3 situation for 56 seconds. But Varlamov turned back shot after shot, the crowd serenading him with "Varly, Varly" over and over. "The guys did an unbelievable job for me," Varlamov said. "This team, theyre unbelievable right now, on the (penalty kill) especially. I appreciate what theyre doing for me. We start this game very well, the guys give me confidence and scored a couple of good goals." Joel Ward had the lone goal for the Capitals as they lost for a second straight night. Alex Ovechkin thought he had a goal late in the third, but it was disallowed when replay showed he kicked it in with his left skate. "We played a decent hockey game," Oates said. "We let it get away at the end, but it was a decent game." Ward tied the game at 1 in the second period when a puck caromed off the boards on a faceoff and right to his stick. With no defenders near him, Ward faked Varlamov one way and then shot it in for his eighth goal of the season. Just 28 seconds later, Holden gave the Avalanche back the lead when the defenceman took a pass from Landeskog and lined a shot past a screened Braden Holtby. The Capitals received a scare late in the second when Ovechkin slipped while chasing a puck and crashed into the boards, with Jan Hejda falling on top of him. Ovechkin stayed down on the ice for several minutes, before skating to the bench and dabbing at his head with a towel. He also began yelling at the officials. "It was a trip. Hit my head in the board," Ovechkin said. "It was a clear two minutes (penalty) and a dangerous play." Hejda didnt quite see it that way. "He fell and then I fell over him," Hejda said. "This is an elite (player). I was going to step (on) the brakes." Colorado got on the board early in the opening period when Cody McLeod lined a backhand shot toward the goal that Bordeleau redirected past Holtby. The officials reviewed the play to see if Bordeleaus stick was below the level of the crossbar and then announced to the crowd the call on the ice stood. The Capitals struggled to generate much offence in the first period and didnt take their first shot until halfway through, when Ovechkin laced a slap shot that Varlamov turned aside. Roy has a good thing going in goal these days, with Varlamov and backup Jean-Sebastien Giguere both playing well. The duo entered the game with a league-best 1.79 goals-against average. "We trust our two goalies," Roy said. "We have a lot of confidence." NOTES: Unhappy with an offside call, the Capitals argued with officials and were assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, which was served by F Jason Chimera. ... The Avalanche were without F Alex Tanguay (knee) and D Ryan Wilson (back). ... Colorado is 8-1 against the Eastern Conference this season. Derrick Rose Jersey . The Mariners ace allowed just one hit over eight innings while striking out nine, and Robinson Cano backed him with a two-run homer as Seattle earned a 3-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday. Anthony Tolliver Jersey .com) - The surprising Calgary Flames host the winless New Jersey Devils at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday. http://www.cheaptimberwolvesjerseys....-gibson-jersey .com) - Rick Nash scored twice and Derek Stepan chipped in a goal with one assist as the New York Rangers claimed a 5-2 decision over Calgary at the Saddledome. Wholesale Timberwolves Jerseys . - Aaron Rodgers makes tough throws that can leave fans of the Green Bay Packers speechless. Jimmy Butler Jersey . At quarterback, all agree that Andy Dalton has been a wonderful surprise, but to truly progress he has to play his best in the playoffs. The two losses in the wildcard rounds keep the evaluation on Dalton open -- just like it did for Peyton Manning many years ago and Matt Ryan until last year.NORTH BAY, Ont. - Saskatchewans Max Kirkpatrick claimed the gold medal at the 2015 Canadian mixed curling championship with a 7-4 win over Jamie Koe of the Northwest Territories on Saturday.Kirkpatricks team from the Swift Current Curling Club — third Jolene Campbell, second Chris Haichert and lead Teejay Haichert — won Saskatchewan its 10th gold medal, tying it with Alberta for tops in the category.Oh, fantastic. Unbelievable, unbelievable, said the 54-year-old Kirkpatrick. It was just a really well-played game, both teams played really well. My team was playing so well. We kept the pressure on them, but we had to make everything. It was unreal. My team curled fantastic.Saskatchewan had to withstand some early pressure from Koes team from Yellowknife — third Kerry Galusha, who is Koes twin sister, second Robert Borden and lead Megan Cormier.After Saskatchewan took a 3-1 lead with a third-end deuce, Koe made the shot of the championnship in the fourth, negotiating a narrow port and hitting into crotch to record a triple takeout and score tying deuce.ddddddddddddBut Saskatchewan came back strongly with two more in the fifth, held the Territories to one in the sixth, and put the game away with two in the seventh.Kirkpatrick said following up Koes stunning shot in the fourth with a deuce in the fifth was crucial for his team.If I threw my last shot in the fourth into the boards, he doesnt get a deuce, said Kirkpatrick. I kind of put it in the only place I could where he could make the deuce. That was a little unfortunate, but we came right back with the deuce in five, and that was key.With the win, the Swift Current foursome earns the right to wear Canadian colours at the inaugural World mixed championship next September at a location to be announced by the World Curling Federation.Its unbelievable. I cant even fathom that yet, said Kirkpatrick. ' ' '