ATLANTA – After watching goalie Ondrej Pavelec inexplicably collapse to the ice in the opening minutes, Atlanta bounced back to beat Washington 4-2 on Friday night behind two goals from Evander Kane.
The excitement of opening night at Philips Arena turned sombre just 2 1/2 minutes into the game when Pavelec suddenly fell over backward during a stoppage at the other end of the ice.
He was treated for about 10 minutes on the ice before being wheeled off on a stretcher. Pavelec was taken to a local hospital, where preliminary tests were negative and he regained consciousness.
After an overall delay of about 20 minutes, Chris Mason took over in the net for the Thrashers and surrendered a goal to Brooks Laich less than a minute later.
The Thrashers scored three straight goals to give Craig Ramsay a victory in his first game as Thrashers coach.
OTTAWA (AP)—Derek Roy scored his second goal of the game on a power play midway through the third period to send Buffalo Sabres on to a victory in the season opener for both teams.
Ryan Miller stopped 25 shots for Buffalo, which took its second and final lead when Roy’s shot from behind the goal-line went in off Ottawa netminder Pascal Leclaire’s glove.
Sabres rookie Tyler Ennis assisted on both goals.
Chris Kelly scored the Senators’ goal late in the second. Leclaire made 34 saves.
Jason Spezza, Ottawa’s No. 1 centre, did not dress because of a groin injury. He is day-to-day.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP)—Loui Eriksson scored two goals, including the winner 1:36 into overtime, for Dallas in the season opener for both teams.
Eriksson skated the length of the ice in overtime, beating Martin Brodeur from the right circle.
Brenden Morrow and Brad Richards scored for Dallas.
Travis Zajac, Zach Parise and Jason Arnott New Jersey’s goals.
Kari Lehtonen settled down after a shaky start to make 27 saves.
Brodeur extended his own NHL record of consecutive season-opening starts by a goalie with one team to 16. He made 24 saves to launch his 18th season.
John MacLean debuted as Devils head coach, replacing Jacques Lemaire who retired.
DETROIT (AP)—Mike Modano scored on his first shot with his hometown team 24 seconds after Johan Franzen’s goal early in the first period and Detroit went on to win in the season opener for both teams.
Jimmy Howard made 21 saves for his fourth career shutout. Pavel Datsyuk and Dan Cleary scored in the second period
Modano signed with the Red Wings in August after Dallas decided it didn’t want him for a 21st season. The Livonia, Mich., native leads all U.S.-born NHL players with 558 goals and 1,360 points.
Anaheim’s Jonas Hiller had a shaky start and finished with 39 saves.
HELSINKI (AP)—Rookie Jeff Skinner scored the only goal of the shootout, giving Carolina a sweep of the two season-opening games in Finland.
Skinner, an 18-year-old forward, set up Carolina’s first goal from Tuomo Ruutu, which tied the game two minutes into the second period. The Wild opened the scoring 17 minutes into the first period on Andrew Brunette’s goal.
Cam Ward made 41 saves for Carolina, stopping Mikko Koivu, Brent Burns and Antti Miettinen in the shootout to preserve the victory.
STOCKHOLM (AP)—Logan Couture scored on a power play midway through the third period for San Jose in the season opener for both teams.
San Jose’s Torrey Mitchell opened the scoring 2:11 into the first period, and Joe Thornton made it 2-0 on a power play midway through the opening period.
Columbus’ Kristian Huselius and R.J. Umberger tied it with goals in a 15-second span late in the first period.
Antti Niemi, who helped lead Chicago to the Stanley Cup title last season, made 30 saves. Steve Mason stopped 25 shots for Columbus.
The teams will meet again in Stockholm on Saturday night.