BLUES, PENGUINS CONTINUE 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS
Original owners of both the Blues and Penguins dropped ceremonial pucks on Saturday before the clubs earned victories to continue perfect starts to their 50th anniversary seasons.
* Carter Hutton made 33 saves in his Blues debut to help his new club improve to 3-0-0 for the fourth time in franchise history. They also achieved the feat in 1969-70 (3-0-0), 1993-94 (3-0-0) and 2013-14 (4-0-0).
* After netting the shootout winner in the season-opener, Phil Kessel (1-0—1) scored the game-winning goal to help the Penguins improve to 2-0-0. Pittsburgh also started 2-0-0 in 2009-10 – the last time a defending Stanley Cup champion won each of its first two games.
LUONGO PASSES PLANTE ON ALL-TIME WINS LIST
Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo made 21 saves to record his 438th career win and surpass Jacques Plante (437) into sole possession of sixth place in NHL history. Luongo, who began his career with the Islanders (7 W), is the franchise wins leader for both the Canucks (252 W) and Panthers (179 W).
HAT TRICKS POWER AVALANCHE, BLACKHAWKS TO VICTORY
Avalanche forward Joe Colborne and Blackhawks forward Richard Panik each recorded their first career NHL hat trick to power their clubs to victory:
* Colborne, who signed as a free agent on July 1, became just the second player in Avalanche/Nordiques franchise history to record a hat trick in his team debut (also Real Cloutier: Oct. 10, 1979 vs. ATL). Colborne and Cloutier are two of five Avalanche/Nordiques players to record a hat trick in a season-opener.
* Panik, who was acquired from the Maple Leafs on Jan. 3, found the scoresheet for a third straight game to help the Blackhawks earn a split of their back-to-back home-and-home series with the Predators. He has compiled 4-1—5 in three games this season, compared to 6-2—8 in 2015-16 (30 GP).
DOWN, BUT NOT OUT
The Lightning and Wild each overcame 2-0 first-period deficits to win on Saturday, while the Coyotes and Senators each earned victories despite having their multi-goal leads erased:
* Captain Steven Stamkos scored the first of three unanswered goals to help the Lightning rally from an early multi-goal deficit to win for the second straight game (they trailed 2-0 and 3-1 vs. DET on Thursday). Via Elias, Tampa Bay overcame multi-goal deficits to win in consecutive games for the first time since March 2 and March 3, 2012.
* Also trailing 2-0, the Wild scored four straight goals – highlighted by Eric Staal’s first tally with Minnesota – to improve to 14-0-2 in all-time home openers at Xcel Energy Center (MIN lost its first home game of 2010-11 in Helsinki, but won its first home game in St. Paul). Via Elias, they also rallied from multi-goal deficits to win home openers in 2003 vs. NYR and 2009 vs. ANA.
* Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored at 3:12 of overtime to help the Coyotes win their season opener. He leads all defensemen with 25 game-winning goals since entering the NHL in 2010-11, including eight such goals last season – the most ever by a defenseman in one campaign.
* After the Senators yielded three straight Canadiens goals, Tom Pyatt (1-0—1) scored with 2:33 remaining in regulation – his first with Ottawa – to set the stage for captain Erik Karlsson (0-1—1) to seal a victory in the fourth round of the shootout.
Daniel Sedin tied the game with 3:51 remaining in regulation and Brandon Sutter scored the lone goal in the fourth round of the shootout to rally the Canucks to a win in their first game of 2016-17 . . . Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov (23 SV) earned his 11th consecutive victory against the Stars dating to 2013-14 . . . Defenseman Zach Werenski (CBJ; 2 GP) and forwards Mitch Marner (TOR; 2 GP), Artturi Lehkonen (MTL; 2 GP), Nick Schmaltz (CHI; 3 GP) and Devin Shore (DAL; 5 GP) each scored their first NHL goal . . . Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar earned his first win behind an NHL bench . . . Head coach Bruce Boudreau earned his first victory with the Wild . . . Blues forward Kyle Brodziak and Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn each played their 700th career NHL game . . . Charlize Theron and Jason Reitman attended the Canucks home opener.
SNEAK PEEK AT SUNDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Anaheim @ NY Islanders, 6 p.m., MSG+, PRIME
Buffalo @ Edmonton, 7 p.m., NHLN, SN1, MSG-B
Carolina @ Vancouver, 10 p.m., SN1, FS-CR
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HOMETOWN HOCKEY TOUR BEGINS IN MCDAVID’S HOMETOWN
Connor McDavid looks to continue his hot start to the season when Edmonton faces Buffalo on Rogers Hometown Hockey, which makes its first stop of the season in his hometown of Newmarket, Ont.
McDavid has posted back-to-back three-point games to begin the campaign, becoming the first Oilers player to record at least six points in the opening two games of a season since Wayne Gretzky in 1987-88.
Throughout 2016-17, Sunday games will be broadcast from a different community rink in various towns across Canada. Included in each telecast will be local NHL player profiles, grassroots stories and local entertainment features.
* Click here for more details about the festivities in Newmarket.
* Click here for the full schedule of stops for the 2016-17 season.
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Source: NHL Public Relations