When people talk about underrated Panthers forwards — at least in mainstream circles, as top players — they usually speak of Aleksander Barkov. Yet, over the last couple of years, Jonathan Huberdeau’s been even more productive.
Huberdeau began the Panthers season (in front of a limited home crowd) with a goal and two primary assists. After the Blackhawks tied the game 2-2 in the third period, Huberdeau and the Panthers really took over.
During the 2019-20 season, Huberdeau generated 78 points in 69 games, which would translate to 94 points over an 82-game campaign.
2. Eetu Luostarinen
You could pick out other Panthers from this win, and even a Blackhawks player like Duncan Keith, who finished with two assists. For example: Patric Hornqvist enjoyed a successful Panthers debut with a goal and an assist during the third period.
When in doubt, though, go with the player who scored their first NHL goal. Overall, Luostarinen ended up with a goal and an assist in this game.
Luostarinen scored the game-winner to begin the Panthers’ run of three straight goals to end Sunday’s game. Over his previous eight games with the Hurricanes, the 22-year-old only managed a single assist.
The Panthers kept the Blackhawks winless so far this season, only amplifying the notion that this could be a long year for openly-rebuilding Chicago.
This time around, Sidney Crosby‘s team won, giving the Penguins their first victory of this young season. But Alex Ovechkin still had a productive afternoon.
Ovechkin scored his first goal of the season, and no, it wasn’t from “his office.” Instead, Ovechkin cleaned up a rebound. The superstar winger also collected an assist, so he’s at four points through three games this season.
As usual, Ovechkin filled a lot of stat categories in this shootout defeat. Ovechkin fired six shots on goal, delivered four hits, and blocked two shots. All things considered, Ovechkin and the Capitals are off to a pretty strong start to the season.
NHL highlights from Sunday
With only two NHL games on Sunday, why not just get all of the highlights of Penguins – Capitals and Blackhawks – Panthers?
Pittsburgh managed its first win by beating the Capitals via a shootout:
The Panthers kept the Blackhawks winless in Florida’s season-opener:
The NHL announced the following COVID-related absences for Sunday. (Teams without absences are not listed.)
Carolina – Jordan Staal
Columbus – Mikko Koivu
Dallas – will be released prior to its first game
Detroit – Christian Djoos
Minnesota – Alex Stalock
Nashville – Mikael Granlund
New Jersey – Eric Comrie
Philadelphia – Shayne Gostisbehere
Tampa Bay – Curtis McElhinney
Vancouver – Jordie Benn
Winnipeg – Anton Forsberg; Tucker Poolman
NHL scores from Sunday