It was bound to happen sooner or later. While the introduction of three-on-three overtime is designed to reduce the number of games that result in a shootout, it can’t eliminate the skills competition entirely.
And so it was that Ottawa and Toronto, who participated in the first NHL shootout back in 2005, also took part in the first one of the new overtime format. This time around, Mike Hoffman earned the deciding marker against James Reimer to hand Ottawa a 5-4 victory:
At one point this game seemed like a very unlikely candidate for the skills competition.
Toronto got into penalty trouble early in the second period and the Senators took full advantage of it with three straight power-play goals over the span of 4:10 minutes. Given that the Maple Leafs’ struggle to score in their first two games and the perception that they’re offensively anemic following the Phil Kessel trade, it would have been easy to assume that Ottawa’s 3-0 lead was sufficient.
Toronto rallied back though with goals from Joffrey Lupul, Tyler Bozak, Peter Holland, and Daniel Winnik to earn a point.
While the Maple Leafs (0-2-1) are still searching for their first win of the Mike Babcock era, at least this can be seen as a step in the right direction.
The Boston Bruins are already playing with a badly depleted defense, they just have to hope that they don’t start losing key forwards as well.
That’s a possibility though as Brad Marchand left Saturday’s contest early after inadvertently being elbowed in the head by Dale Weise, per CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty. Bruins coach Claude Julien couldn’t provide an update after the game, according to the team’s Twitter account.
Whatever happens there though, Boston already has a hole it needs to dig out of as Montreal handed the Bruins a 4-2 loss tonight.
Lars Eller and Alex Galchenyuk led the charge by scoring two goals and three assists respectively. Alexander Semin registered two assists after going scoreless in his debut with Montreal on Wednesday.
The Bruins are now 0-2-0 and have allowed 10 goals over that span. They have been playing without their top two defensemen in Zdeno Chara (upper body) and Dennis Seidenberg (back).
Boston’s task isn’t getting any easier as it will face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday. Montreal, which is opening the season with a four-game road trip, is now 2-0-0 ahead of Sunday’s contest against Ottawa.
Steve Mason‘s night mercifully ended in less than seven minutes, but the Philadelphia Flyers’ nightmare was just getting started.
While the four-goal barrage that chased Mason out of the game was the worst of it, the Florida Panthers success continued en route to a 7-1 blowout victory over Philadelphia.
It was a stark contrast from the standard set last season when the Panthers were one of the worst offensive teams in the league and also deviated from Mason’s tradition of dominating Florida. Of course, Flyers backup goalie Michal Neuvirth didn’t come out unscathed either as he surrendered three goals on 22 shots.
Jaromir Jagr, 43, got his campaign off on the right foot with the 723rd and 724th goals of his career. Vincent Trocheck, 22, scored the opening marker and recorded three assists to set a new career-high for points in a single game.
It was also a big night for 24-year-old Reilly Smith, who netted two goals in his Panthers debut.
All this isn’t to suggest that the Flyers were silent though. While Florida certainly didn’t need stellar goaltending on a night like this, Roberto Luongo certainly did more than his fair share by turning aside 38 shots. Mark Streit was the only player to best him.
Dave Hakstol’s tenure as the Philadelphia Flyers’ head coach has gotten off to a 0-1-1 start, but his team will get another shot against Florida on Monday.
The Washington Capitals had to wait until tonight for their season opener, but Alex Ovechkin made sure it was worth the wait by leading them to a 5-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils.
With the game tied at two early in the third period, Ovechkin completely outmaneuvered Devils defenseman John Moore before rocketing a top-shelf shot past goalie Keith Kinkaid:
That goal opened the floodgates as Ovechkin’s efforts led to Marcus Johansson scoring his first goal of the season. Matt Niskanen then scored an empty netter with 2:53 remaining in the contest.
Devils forward Mike Cammalleri fired back, preventing Ovechkin’s goal from being considered the game winner, but it was nevertheless too little, too late for New Jersey.
The Devils are now 0-2-0 and will have to wait until Tuesday when they play against Nashville for their next opportunity to secure a victory. Washington will look to keep its early momentum going Tuesday against the Sharks.
Related: Video: Orpik nets first goal with Caps
Not every player gets to score his first career goal on two separate occasions.
Of course, that’s not really accurate. Trevor van Riemsdyk was originally credited with his first marker on Nov. 9, 2014, but it was later given to Kris Versteeg. This time around it’s pretty clear that it was van Riemsdyk’s marker.
The 24-year-old defenseman was playing in his 21st career game. He began the 2014-15 campaign with the Blackhawks, but a left patella fracture and then wrist injury sidelined him for most of the season and playoffs.
He’s a product of the University of New Hampshire and is the younger brother of Toronto Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk.
Artemi Panarin picked up an assist on van Riemsdyk’s goal, giving the ex-KHL star turned NHL rookie two points in three games.