San Jose Sharks v Vancouver Canucks - Game One

Video: Versus previews Game 2 of Sharks-Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks managed to take care of business against the San Jose Sharks in Game 1, but it wasn’t easy. In fact, it was basically the type of game many of us expected: tight-checking yet exciting, if a little bit messy at times. (We’re looking at you, Roberto Luongo.)

After falling behind by a goal in both the first and second periods, the Canucks eventually overwhelmed the Sharks in the third. Out of the final 28 shots, Vancouver sent 21 in Antti Niemi’s direction. People will probably look at the outcome in two different ways: either the Canucks wore down their opponents or San Jose ran out of gas thanks to that seven-game series against the Detroit Red Wings.

Fatigue won’t be a great excuse in Game 2 since the Sharks and Canucks received an extra night off (Game 1 was on Sunday). Want a primer on tonight’s contest, which takes place on Versus at 9 p.m.? Check out what the Hockey Central gang has to say about it in the video below.

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Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

Jarret Stoll, Mats Zuccarello
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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.

This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Here’s video of Abdelkader’s hat trick: