Reigning NHL scoring leader Nikita Kucherov tallied a goal and an assist, and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded 35 saves to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a season-opening 5-2 win over the visiting Florida Panthers on Thursday night.
Winners of last year’s Presidents’ Trophy in a 62-16-4 season, Tampa Bay never trailed and pulled away by scoring three times in the third period for their eighth straight win in a home opener.
Kevin Shattenkirk, Ondrej Palat, Pat Maroon and Erik Cernak notched goals. Mikhail Sergachev contributed three assists while Alex Killorn added two for the Lightning.
Vincent Trocheck scored and had an assist, and Mike Hoffman also netted a marker for the Panthers, who lost in the debut of new coach Joel Quenneville.
Bruins 2, Stars 1
Brett Ritchie and Danton Heinen scored in the first six minutes as Boston held off host Dallas in both teams’ season opener.
Tuukka Rask had 28 saves as the Bruins began with a victory after losing in Game 7 of last season’s Stanley Cup Final. Boston won the first of four road games to kick off the campaign.
Roope Hintz scored the lone goal for the Stars. Ben Bishop stopped 18 shots. Dallas lost three players to injury in the contest, none more serious than when 14-year veteran defenseman Roman Polak was stretchered off the ice following a headfirst collision into the boards in the second period. Polak was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation, the team announced.
Ducks 2, Coyotes 1
Defenseman Cam Fowler scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period as host Anaheim presented head coach Dallas Eakins with a win in his debut.
Fourth-liner Derek Grant also scored and John Gibson finished with 32 saves for the Ducks, who have won each of their last three season openers.
Arizona’s Darcy Kuemper turned aside 27 shots, one day after signing a two-year contract extension through the 2021-22 season. The Ducks scored the lone goal in the first period despite being outshot by a 14-6 margin.
Rangers 6, Jets 4
Brett Howden scored the tiebreaking goal with 4:09 remaining in the third period, and host New York posted a wild victory over Winnipeg.
The Rangers took three one-goal leads in the opening 40 minutes and fell behind early in the third period before scoring the final three goals.
Howden gave the Rangers their final lead by crashing the net after winning an offensive zone faceoff against Adam Lowry. New York’s Henrik Lundqvist withstood a barrage all night and made 43 saves to become the sixth goaltender in NHL history to reach 450 wins.
Hurricanes 4, Canadiens 3 (SO)
Dougie Hamilton scored on the first attempt of the shootout as Carolina beat Montreal in Raleigh, N.C.
Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek stopped Paul Byron, Jonathan Drouin and Nick Suzuki in the shootout as Carolina overcame blowing an early 2-0 lead. Mrazek had 33 saves.
Montreal goalie Carey Price made 40 saves. The Canadiens, who opened the season on the road for the sixth straight season, are 4-0-2 in their last six openers.
Sabers 3, Penguins 1
Conor Sheary scored twice as visiting Buffalo downed Pittsburgh.
Buffalo snapped a streak of 18 straight games between the two in which Pittsburgh got at least a point. Rasmus Dahlin also scored for the Sabres, and Casey Mittelstadt had the primary assist on both Sheary goals. Carter Hutton stopped 28 of 29 Penguins shots.
Evgeni Malkin scored for Pittsburgh. Matt Murray made 38 saves.
Avalanche 5, Flames 3
Mikko Rantanen and Joonas Donskoi had two goals each, J.T. Compher also scored, and Colorado beat Calgary in Denver as Philipp Grubauer had 27 saves for the Avalanche, who again got the best of the Flames.
Colorado beat the top-seeded Flames in five games in the first round of the playoffs last spring and continued its mastery over their Western Conference rival in the season opener for both teams.
Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan had a goal and an assist each and Mark Giordano added a shorthanded tally for the Flames. Goaltender David Rittich stopped 27 shots for Calgary.
Predators 5, Wild 2
Mikael Granlund, Austin Watson, Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg scored third-period goals, and Pekka Rinne made 22 saves as Nashville rallied to defeat visiting Minnesota.
Ryan Ellis had a goal and an assist, and Matt Duchene added three assists for the two-time defending Central Division champion Predators. Nashville earned its sixth consecutive win over the Wild dating back to March 2018.
Matt Dumba and Jason Zucker scored goals, and Devan Dubnyk finished with 27 saves for Minnesota, which took a 2-1 lead into the final period.
—Field Level Media