The New Jersey Devils and Colorado Avalanche combined for only 118 points last season, or the same amount of the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Washington Capitals.
On Saturday afternoon at the Prudential Center, the Devils host the Avalanche (1-0-0) as both teams seek to distance themselves from last season.
Colorado already took a step in that direction, defeating the New York Rangers, 4-2, on Thursday night. After finishing last in the league with 22 wins and 48 points in 2016-17, the Avalanche skated into Madison Square Garden and never trailed en-route to a season-opening road victory.
Goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who had hip and groin surgeries that limited him to just 24 appearances last year, turned in a stellar performance Thursday with 37 saves. He stopped all 14 shots in third period when the Rangers turned up the heat while chasing a one-goal deficit.
“I liked a lot of the things we did, but I think our puck decisions cost us a lot of scoring chances against, but (Varlamov) was outstanding,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar told reporters after the win. “That’s what we are hoping he can be, but we don’t want to get into a game where we are relying on him like that every night.” >> Read More.
Copyright 2017 by the Associated Press