Ovechkin hat trick helps Caps win; Blackhawks pound Penguins
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Alex Ovechkin had a hat trick in a 6:33 span in the third period and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the shootout winner in the Washington Capitals’ 5-4 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night in the season opener for both teams.
Brett Connolly also scored for Washington, and Braden Holtby made 28 saves. Mark Stone struck twice for the Senators, Derick Brassard had a goal and two assists, Chris Wideman also scored, and Craig Anderson made 24 saves.
Ovechkin scored twice in a 1:23 span to tie it early in the third period.
Cody Ceci turned the puck over down low, allowing Kuznetsov to find Ovechkin for a shot he roofed past Anderson. Then, the Senators were unable to clear the puck and the same line was able to move the puck quickly to allow Ovechkin to score.
Ottawa regained the lead 1:17 later when Stone tipped in Dion Phaneuf’s shot.
Ovechkin tied it again with 9:12 left in the period.
BLACKHAWKS 10, PENGUINS 1
CHICAGO (AP) — Brandon Saad scored three times in his return to Chicago and Ryan Hartman had a goal and four assists, helping the Blackhawks pound the Pittsburgh Penguins 10-1.
Nick Schmaltz added two goals and an assist as Chicago kicked off its season in style with a runaway victory over the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions. Patrick Kane also had a goal and three assists in the Blackhawks’ highest scoring game since a 10-1 win against Winnipeg on Oct. 12, 1988.
Pittsburgh was coming off a 5-4 overtime loss to St. Louis in its season opener on Wednesday, and it looked every bit like a team on the second half of back-to-back nights. Antti Niemi was pulled after allowing four goals on 13 shots in his Penguins debut, forcing Matt Murray to come in after he took the loss against the Blues.
Sidney Crosby found Phil Kessel for a power-play goal at 2:05 of the second period, but Chicago already had a 5-0 lead at that point. It was the most goals allowed by Pittsburgh since a 10-8 loss to San Jose on Jan. 13, 1996.
Richard Panik, Patrick Sharp and Brent Seabrook also scored for Chicago, and Corey Crawford made 28 saves.
RED WINGS 4, WILD 2
DETROIT (AP) — Henrik Zetterberg and Martin Frk scored in the third period to lift Detroit past Minnesota in the first regular-season game at Little Caesars Arena.
Anthony Mantha and Dylan Larkin scored 23 seconds apart in the second period for the Red Wings, who rallied after blowing a 2-0 lead early in the third. Joel Eriksson Ek and Chris Stewart scored 48 seconds apart to tie it, and then Zetterberg put Detroit back ahead to stay with 12:53 remaining.
The Red Wings said goodbye to Joe Louis Arena in April and moved to a new downtown venue they’ll share with the Detroit Pistons. The Red Wings missed the playoffs last season for the first time since 1990, and although expectations are low at the moment, they opened with a victory.
Even before the opening faceoff, fans were already partaking in that old Detroit tradition of tossing octopi on the ice. The puck went across the Detroit goal line twice in the first, but goaltender interference was called both times and the period ended scoreless.
Minnesota’s Devan Dubnyk made the save of the night when, while sprawled on his back, he swung his left arm across to deny Gustav Nyquist on a breakaway. Jimmy Howard had 37 saves for Detroit.
CANADIENS 3, SABRES 2, SO
BUFFALO, New York (AP) — Jonathan Drouin scored the lone shootout goal in rallying Montreal past Buffalo in the season opener for both teams.
Phillip Danault forced overtime by scoring a short-handed goal on a wraparound with 11:59 left. Max Pacioretty also scored for Montreal. Carey Price stopped 43 shots through overtime and all three shootout attempts following an offseason in which he signed an eight-year, $84 million contract.
Jason Pominville scored twice in his first game back with Buffalo since being reacquired in a trade with Minnesota in June. Robin Lehner stopped 38 shots and the Sabres earned one point in Phil Housley’s debut as coach. Jack Eichel set up Pominville’s second goal with a perfect cross-ice feed two days after the 20-year-old franchise player signed an eight-year, $80 million extension.
Drouin settled the shootout by driving directly at Lehner. Faking to his left to catch Lehner leaning, Drouin went to his backhand and deposited the puck into the open right side.
Drouin also had an assist in his first game with Montreal since the Quebec-born player was acquired in an offseason trade with Tampa Bay.
BRUINS 4, PREDATORS 3
BOSTON (AP) — Jake DeBrusk had a goal and assist in his first NHL game, Charlie McAvoy added a goal and assist in his first regular-season appearance and Boston beat Nashville in the opener for both teams.
David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand also scored, and David Krejci had three assists. Anders Bjork added an assist in his first NHL start, and Tuukka Rask made 26 saves.
Viktor Arvidsson, Scott Hartnell and Filip Forsberg scored for Nashville.
AVALANCHE 4, RANGERS 2
NEW YORK (AP) — Semyon Varlamov stopped 37 shots, Tyson Barrie scored the tiebreaking goal late in the second period and Colorado beat New York in the teams’ opener.
Matt Duchene and Mikko Rantanen scored in the first period, and Gabriel Landeskog added an empty-netter for the Avalanche.
Mika Zibanejad scored two power-play goals late in the first period for the Rangers, and Henrik Lundqvist had 22 saves. The loss spoiled Kevin Shattenkirk’s debut with the Rangers after the prized free agent signed with his hometown team in the offseason.
KINGS 2, FLYERS 0
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jonathan Quick made 35 saves in the first season-opening shutout of his career, and Los Angeles won in new head coach John Stevens’ debut, beat Philadelphia.
Trevor Lewis and Tyler Toffoli scored for the Kings, who immediately got a vintage game from their well-rested goalie.
Quick injured his groin in the Kings’ season opener last year, eventually missing 59 games. He returned in February, but couldn’t stop the Kings from missing the playoffs for the second time in three years. That led to coach Darryl Sutter’s firing and the promotion of Stevens, Sutter’s longtime assistant and the former Philadelphia head coach.
DUCKS 5, COYOTES 4
ANAHEIM, California (AP) — Richard Rakell broke a tie with 3:30 left and Anaheim overcame a three-goal deficit to beat Arizona in the opener.
Corey Perry scored twice and set up Andrew Coglino’s tying goal with 6:15 remaining.
Ondrej Kase also scored for Anaheim. Anthony Duclair, Clayton Keller, Max Domi and Christian Fischer scored for Arizona.
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