Get all the info you need on last night’s action in our morning recap.
Essential Water Cooler
The kids have come to play. One night after Nathan MacKinnon earned first star honors in Denver, a host of teens made big contributions to their teams. Sasha Barkov, who went one slot after MacKinnon in the draft, got his first NHL goal with Florida, while Sean Monahan picked up an assist for Calgary. In the same game, Tom Wilson laid a beating on the Flames’ Lance Bouma after he injured the Caps’ Jack Hillen on a bodycheck. So based on early returns, how good is this year’s Calder race going to be?
Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury opened his season with a 3-0 shutout over New Jersey, at one point preserving the goose egg with a nifty behind-the-back save.
Men of the Night
Alex Ovechkin – The Caps are back to firewagon hockey and you’re probably not going to hear Ovie complain. He was lighting up the scoreboard again last night with two goals and an assist in a 5-4 shootout win over Calgary.
Radim Vrbata – The Coyotes spoiled Alain Vigneault’s debut behind the New York Rangers bench with a 4-1 win, largely propelled by the cagey vet Vrbata, who netted a hat trick on the night.
Marcel Goc – Florida is once again a bit of a Frankenstein team this year and along with nice performances from newbies Scott Gomez and Tim Thomas, the Cats were led in offense by the veteran Goc, who netted two goals in a 4-2 win over Dallas.
Jeff Carter – Minnesota had never lost a home opener (11 wins, one tie), but Jeff Carter ruined that last night, practically by himself. The Kings sniper popped in a late game-tying goal, then iced the Wild with the 3-2 shootout winner.
Alex Pietrangelo – The Blues ran roughshod over Nashville in the first period, chasing Pekka Rinne with three straight goals and ultimately winning 4-2. Pietrangelo had assists on the first two St. Louis markers and the offense was running smooth through him.
Better Luck Next Time
Even though the Capitals eventually won, starting netminder Braden Holtby was chased after ceding a 3-0 lead to the lowly Flames. Holtby also got torched by Chicago in the season opener, giving him a ghastly 6.32 goals-against average after just two appearances.