Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Kelly scored on a short-handed penalty shot and Patrice Bergeron added another man-down score, as the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins kicked off their 90th season with a 3-1 decision over the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden. Milan Lucic also tallied and Tuukka Rask stopped 32 shots for the Bruins, who have joined the new version of the Atlantic Division this season after 20 years in the Northeast. Valtteri Filppula lit the lamp in his debut for the Lightning, who have been relocated to the Atlantic after 15 years in the Southeast Division. Anders Lindback made 22 saves in the setback.
Final Score: Pittsburgh 3, New Jersey 0
Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Marc-Andre Fleury's 27-save shutout helped the Pittsburgh Penguins open the season with a 3-0 win over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday. Fleury posted his 24th career shutout thanks in part to a stop on an Adam Henrique penalty shot late in the third period. Chuck Kobasew, Sidney Crosby and Craig Adams all scored for the Penguins, who were eliminated in the Eastern Conference finals last year by the Boston Bruins. Martin Brodeur had his NHL record streak of starting 18 straight season openers in net broken, as Cory Schneider got the nod for the Devils and made 18 stops.
Final Score: Washington 5, Calgary 4 (SO)
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Alex Ovechkin scored twice to lead a Washington comeback and the Capitals beat the Calgary Flames 5-4 in a shootout Thursday night after trailing by three goals twice in their home opener. Ovechkin and Mikhail Grabovski were both successful in the shootout and Michal Neuvirth, who replaced Braden Holtby in the first period after the Washington starter gave up three goals, stopped two Calgary tries. Nicklas Backstrom had the tying power play goal with 5:50 left in regulation for the Capitals, who bounced back after losing 6-4 in Chicago on Tuesday. The Flames lost their season opener for the fourth straight year despite goals from David Jones, Lee Stempniak and Jiri Hudler in the first 16:22 of the game to chase Holtby. Washington defenseman Connor Carrick, 19, scored his first NHL goal, Ovechkin also had an assist and Neuvirth made 27 saves. Karri Ramo, in his first regular season NHL game since April 11, 2009, gave up four goals on 39 shots for the Flames, who blew leads of 3-0 and 4-1. Lance Bouma also scored in the loss and Mark Giordano had two assists.
Final Score: St. Louis 4, Nashville 2
St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - David Backes, Vladimir Sobotka and T.J. Oshie scored in the first half of the first period, helping St. Louis take a 4-2 decision over Nashville at Scottrade Center. Alex Steen added a power-play tally and Alex Pietrangelo contributed a pair of helpers for the Blues, who won their second consecutive season opener on home ice. Jaroslav Halak stopped 28-of-30 shots for the victory. Mike Fisher and David Legwand lit the lamp in defeat for the Predators. Pekka Rinne started, but was shelled for three scores on six shots. Carter Hutton finished the contest with 21 saves.
Final Score: Los Angeles 3, Minnesota 2 (SO)
St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Jeff Carter tied the game late in the third period and beat Niklas Backstrom again in the shootout to lift the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday in the season opener for both teams. Drew Doughty also scored in regulation for the Kings and Jonathan Quick had 27 saves. Quick stopped both Minnesota skaters in the shootout, including a poke check on Mikko Koivu's try. Anze Kopitar and then Carter beat Backstrom to the stick side in the shootout as the Kings became the first team to beat the Wild in their first true home game of the season. The Wild had been 11-0-0 with one tie in home openers in Minnesota. Matt Cooke scored 64 seconds into his Wild debut and Jonas Brodin also had a goal. Backstrom gave up two goals on 18 shots, including Carter's backhand try on a rebound with 6:46 left in regulation.
Final Score: Florida 4, Dallas 2
Dallas, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Marcel Goc scored the winner with 4:55 to go and added an empty-netter as the Florida Panthers opened their season with a 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Thursday. Scott Gomez and Aleksander Barkov each posted a goal for the Panthers, who finished in last place in the Southeast Division last season. Tim Thomas stopped 25 shots in his debut with Florida. The two-time Vezina winner and one-time Conn Smythe winner had taken a leave of absence from the league last year. Brenden Dillon had a goal and an assist while Alex Chiasson also scored for the Stars, who missed the playoffs for a fifth straight season last year. Kari Lehtonen allowed three goals on 38 shots.
Final Score: Phoenix 4, NY Rangers 1
Glendale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Radim Vrbata notched a hat trick to lead the Phoenix Coyotes in a 4-1 win over the New York Rangers to open the season. Kyle Chipchura scored the other goal while Mike Smith made 23 saves for the Coyotes, who finished in last place of the Pacific Division last season. Marc Staal had the only goal of the game for the Rangers, while Henrik Lundqvist posted 28 saves for New York, which were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs last season by the Boston Bruins.
Final Score: San Jose 4, Vancouver 1
San Jose, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Brent Burns scored the first of San Jose's four unanswered goals, as the Sharks surged past the Vancouver Canucks, 4-1, on Thursday in the season opener for both teams at SAP Center. Patrick Marleau, Tommy Wingels and Justin Braun each scored once, while Antti Niemi stopped 21-of-22 shots for the Sharks, who made the postseason for a ninth straight year last season before bowing to the Los Angeles Kings in seven games in the semifinals. After being swept by San Jose in the first round of the playoffs last year, Vancouver fired head coach Alain Vigneault and brought in former Rangers bench boss John Tortorella. The Canucks failed to make Tortorella's debut a successful one, with Roberto Luongo giving up all four goals on 35 shots in defeat.