Varlamov, Avalanche shut out Golden Knights, end six-game home skid

Varlamov, Avalanche shut out Golden Knights, end six-game home skid

DENVER — Semyon Varlamov made 40 saves, and Andrew Agozzino scored his first NHL goal and had an assist in the Colorado Avalanche’s 3-0 win against the Vegas Golden Knights at Pepsi Center on Monday.

The shutout was Varlamov’s second of the season and 25th of his NHL career.

“I felt really good today,” Varlamov said. “I was facing lots of shots, but most of the shots were from the outside. It wasn’t like a tough game where there’s lots of screens in front and you can’t see anything. The guys did a tremendous job. I saw most of the shots.”


[WATCH: All Golden Knights vs. Avalanche highlights]


Matt Calvert and Tyson Jost also scored for Colorado (24-24-11), which ended a six-game home losing streak. The Avalanche, who are 2-6-3 in their past 11 games, are one point behind the Minnesota Wild for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

Malcolm Subban made 35 saves for Vegas (32-25-4), which has lost four of its past five games and is 3-8-0 in its past 11. The Golden Knights are third in the Pacific Division, 10 points behind the second-place San Jose Sharks.

Video: VGK@COL: Jost forces turnover, snaps home wrister

“Lots of chances, just couldn’t put the puck in the back of the net,” Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. “It was one of those 6-5 hockey games and it ended up being 3-0 for them.

“I thought both goaltenders were outstanding. (Subban) gave us a chance to hang around in there. Varlamov made a lot of big saves.”

The Avalanche took a 1-0 lead on Jost’s goal at 6:36 of the first period. Jost forced Golden Knights forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare into a turnover, gained possession between the hash marks and spun around for his first goal since Jan. 2 against San Jose.

Agozzino, who was recalled from Colorado of the American Hockey League on Sunday, made it 2-0 at 5:47 of the second period. Nathan MacKinnon dumped the puck off the sideboards and Gabriel Landeskog retrieved it in the right corner. He passed by Vegas defenseman Colin Miller to Agozzino in the slot for a one-timer inside the left post.

Agozzino, 28, had not played in the NHL since the 2015-16 season; he entered with three assists in 10 career games.

“I’ve been waiting a long time for that moment,” Agozzino said. “It’s special and tough to put into words. There was a lot emotion after I saw it go in and just pure excitement. I came up with the mindset to try to help this team, in whatever aspect it was. I’m glad I did that tonight to help this team to get a win. It’s a big two points and a special night for me.

“I’m sure my dad is going to call me for (the puck). I’m sure it will go in a nice frame in my house, but he’ll be fighting me for it.”

Agozzino was leading his AHL team in scoring with 28 goals and 50 points in 48 games.

“He did a really nice job,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “Smart, intelligent 200-foot player, made some plays, had some poise with the puck.”

The Avalanche extended their lead to 3-0 when Calvert batted in the rebound of Matt Nieto‘s shot at 6:53 of the third period.

Varlamov made 15 saves in the third.

“I just don’t think we were executing,” Vegas forward Reilly Smith said. “It seemed like there were a lot of sloppy plays. I think we had a lot of chances where we had people open for scoring chances, but we couldn’t get the puck there. Probably just got a little too frustrated.”

Bednar broke up Colorado’s top line of Landeskog, MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen, placing each on a different line for the first time. MacKinnon centered left wing Alexander Kerfoot and right wing Sven Andrighetto, Rantanen was at right wing with center Carl Soderberg and left wing Nieto, and Landeskog was on left wing with Jost at center and Calvert on the right.

“As a line they hadn’t been doing a whole bunch lately and created a lot offensively,” Bednar said.

Video: VGK@COL: Agozzino buries one-timer for first NHL goal


They said it

“It’s tough to lose games like this; [it] took a full 60-minute effort and I needed to make a few more saves tonight. Got to correct some mistakes and move forward.” — Golden Knights goalie Malcolm Subban


“Like I said a couple days ago, this team never gives up. We’re going to battle to the end. We just need to get on a winning streak and kind of help ourselves.” — Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov

 Video: Varlamov earns Monday’s Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout


Need to know

Vegas went 0-for-4 on the power play and is 3-for-25 in its past 10 games. Colorado went 0-for-3 with the man-advantage and has failed to score on 26 straight power plays in its past nine games. … Landeskog’s assist was his 400th NHL point. He has 173 goals and 227 assists in 565 games.


What’s next

Golden Knights: Host the Boston Bruins on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVAS)

Avalanche: Host the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday (8:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN, ALT, NHL.TV)

Video: Varlamov’s 40-save shutout leads Avs past Vegas

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