Nolan Patrick made his highly anticipated regular season debut for the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.
His night consisted of 13:30 of ice time and three shots on goal.
More importantly for the Flyers, they went into San Jose and came away with a 5-3 victory to begin the campaign, with Wayne Simmonds recording a historic hat trick that included the winning goal midway through the third period.
That’s a promising start to the year for the Flyers, who had three-point nights from Jakub Voracek and Shayne Gostisbehere as well.
Claude Giroux, who endured his share of struggles offensively last season and has entered 2017-18 with considerable pressure to regain his form, scored the first goal for Philadelphia, in part because of a puck-handling mistake from Sharks goalie Martin Jones.
Welcome to the new season of the Connor McDavid Show.
The 20-year-old phenom was sensational in the Edmonton Oilers’ season opener Wednesday, once again putting on display that ridiculous combination of speed and ability to make skilled plays while in full flight.
Against the rival Calgary Flames, McDavid scored the hat trick and the Oilers scored a 3-0 win.
As you can imagine, what McDavid did has the hockey world buzzing at the beginning of a new season.
For his second goal of the night, McDavid gathered the puck in his own end and with a burst of speed, he rushed down the right wing, beat three Calgary players to the net and then calmly flipped the puck over Mike Smith‘s left shoulder.
Only about six seconds ticked off the game clock from the time McDavid gathered the puck near the bottom of the defensive zone faceoff circle to the time he scored on Smith at the other end of the rink.
He was flying.
He then put the finishing touches on the hat trick with an empty net goal.
And here’s another one for you: Think of all the greats that have played for the Oilers over the years. On Wednesday, McDavid recorded the first opening-night hat trick in the franchise’s history, per the NHL.
The Calgary Flames signed Tanner Glass on Tuesday. The following night, he was embroiled in a fight with Zack Kassian of the Edmonton Oilers during the first installment of the Battle of Alberta this season.
The fight occurred late in the first period off a faceoff in the neutral zone, only a few minutes after Connor McDavid opened the scoring to give the host Oilers the lead.
As you can see from the clip, Kassian was cut during the fight, but he did remain in the game.
The Stanley Cup was in the building. The 2017 championship banner went to the rafters at PPG Paints Arena, as the Penguins and their fans celebrated a second consecutive Stanley Cup title prior to puck drop Wednesday.
The St. Louis Blues, though, decided to spoil the party.
Despite giving up a two-goal lead in the third period, the visiting Blues were able to get the win thanks to Alex Pietrangelo‘s goal just over a minute into overtime, as St. Louis recorded a 5-4 victory.
The Penguins were still able to secure a single point thanks to their third period comeback, which included goals from Sidney Crosby and Conor Sheary only 54 seconds apart.
While Pietrangelo put together a solid night with a pair of goals and eight shots, newcomer Brayden Schenn had a memorable debut — for a number of reasons. He put St. Louis on the board in the first period, re-directing a puck off his skate and into a wide open net, and then assisted on the winner.
That made up for his earlier gaffe, which saw Schenn grab the puck out of the air and throw it down the ice. A good throw, but illegal in hockey and he was penalized as a result. That sparked the Penguins comeback, but Pietrangelo was able to end that in overtime.
The Penguins travel to Chicago to face the Blackhawks on Thursday.
The San Jose Sharks host second overall pick Nolan Patrick and the Philadelphia Flyers in the second half of the NHL on NBCSN doubleheader Wednesday, as we drop the puck on the new regular season.
You can catch tonight’s game on NBCSN (10:30 p.m. ET) or online via the live stream.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:
Nolan Patrick makes Flyers opening night roster
Nolan Patrick raves about Flyers future — maybe even in the short term
Are the Sharks still Stanley Cup contenders?