The National Hockey League is finally back in action! No more preseason games, everything from this night on counts towards the title everyone wants – Stanley Cup Winners.
The season started off quietly with just four games on opening night, two from each conference. But don’t let that fool you, the first night was full of drama, giving us our first overtime of the season and eight goals in Toronto.
Ottawa Senators v Toronto Maple Leafs
Auston Matthews became the fourth player in NHL history to score in each of his first four season openers, as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Ottawa Senators 5-3 at Scotiabank Arena.
Matthews, who scored twice, joins Dit Clapper (1927-1931), Dave Andreychuk (1982-1986) and Sergei Fedorov (1990-1994) as the only players to accomplish the feat.
Ilya Mikheyev scored his first NHL goal and had an assist for the hosts, whilst Frederik Gauthier and Trevor Moore also scored, and Frederik Andersen made 23 saves. Tyson Barrie had two assists in his Toronto debut.
On the other side of the puck Brady Tkachuk, Scott Sabourin and Bobby Ryan scored, and Craig Anderson made 37 saves for the Sens. Defenseman Ron Hainsey, who played for the Leafs the last two seasons, had a goal overturned after Toronto challenged for offside.
Rangers v Senators – Saturday, October 5 (7pm)
Leafs v Blue Jackets – Friday, October 4 (7pm)
Washington Capitals v St. Louis Blues
Jakub Vrana scored 2:51 into overtime to help the Washington Capitals spoil the party in St. Louis with a 3-2 win at Enterprise Center. He capped a three-goal comeback for the Capitals in a meeting between the last two Stanley Cup champions.
Alex Ovechkin scored his 11th goal in his 15th season opener, Dmitry Orlov also scored and Lars Eller had two assists, whilst Braden Holtby made 20 saves for the visitors.
Ovechkin has 18 points (11 goals, seven assists) in 15 season-opening games and 31 points (18 goals, 13 assists) in 20 games against St. Louis.
Sammy Blais and Alex Pietrangelo scored, Ryan O’Reilly had two assists, Justin Faulk had an assist in his first game with St. Louis, and Jordan Binnington made 31 saves.
Capitals v Islanders – Friday, October 4 (7pm)
Stars v Blues – Saturday, October 5 (8pm)
Vancouver Canucks v Edmonton Oilers
Connor McDavid scored the go-ahead goal in the third period as the Edmonton Oilers started their season off with a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. The highlight-reel goal saw him split Canucks defensemen Christopher Tanev and Quinn Hughes before beating goalie Jacob Markstrom at 14:37.
Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists, Zack Kassian had a goal and an assist, Mike Smith made 31 saves in his Oiler debut (played for Flames last season), and it was David Tippett‘s first game as head coach for the hosts.
Alexander Edler and Tanner Pearson scored for Vancouver, and Markstrom made 19 saves.
Canucks v Flames – Saturday, October 5 (10pm)
Kings v Oilers – Saturday, October 5 (10pm)
San Jose Sharks v Vegas Golden Knights
Cody Glass scored in his NHL debut, helping the Vegas Golden Knights defeat their arch-enemies – the San Jose Sharks.
Glass, who was Vegas’ first NHL Draft pick (No.6, 2017), scored on a cross-ice pass from Max Pacioretty at 2:12 of the second period to give the hosts a 3-1 lead.
“It’s special, You dream of it as a kid and for it to come true like that is unbelievable,” Glass said.
The 20-year-old center, who played on a line with Pacioretty and Mark Stone, became the youngest Knights player (20 years, 184 days) to score a goal, surpassing forward Alex Tuch (21 years, 158 days on October 15, 2017).
Reilly Smith scored twice, William Karlsson got the assist on both, whilst Stone had a goal and an assist, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 21 saves for his 440th NHL victory. The win was also Fleury‘s 10th season opener victory, tying him with Curtis Joseph and Martin Brodeur for the NHL record.
Fleury is five victories from tying Terry Sawchuk (445) for seventh place on the NHL’s all-time wins list.
Vegas were left without fan favorite Nate Schmidt after the defensemen left at 9:29 of the first period with a left knee injury. He collided with Logan Couture. Gerard Gallant said he expects to have an update on Thursday.
Marcus Sorensen was the only Shark to score and Martin Jones made 31 saves in the first game between the Pacific Division rivals since last season’s Western Conference First Round, which San Jose won in seven games.
The Sharks suffered without defenseman Erik Karlsson, who was a late scratch due to a personal matter. Coach Peter DeBoer didn’t confirm if he’ll be ready when the teams meet again in San Jose on Friday.
Knights v Sharks – Friday, October 4 (10:30pm)
ALL TIMES U.S. EASTERN