October 09, 2011
Kessel notched four points and his first career hat trick as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night, scoring once in every period to stake the Leafs to a 6-4 win over the Ottawa Senators. His much-needed third goal would stand as the game-winner after the Maple Leafs -- who had held their opponents off the scoresheet for five straight periods -- allowed five goals in the third, with four coming in the final ten minutes, to let Ottawa back in the game.
David Legwand was in on all four goals as the Predators spoiled the St. Louis Blues' home opener with a 4-2 victory. He scored two himself (one into an empty-net), and added two assists. He was instrumental in the success of the Predators' powerplay, which went 2-for-4, setting up a goal with a smooth, cross-zone feed to Shea Weber(notes), and banking another off the skate of the redundantly-named Nikita Nikitin(notes).
On the night Peter Forsberg's(notes) jersey was retired in Colorado, Conklin made 29 saves to blank the Avalanche 3-0 and spoil the festivities. Johan Franzen(notes) and Henrik Zetterberg(notes) put pucks past Semyon Varlamov(notes) (who made 36 saves in the loss), and Pavel Datsyuk(notes) added the empty-netter to ice the game.
Honourable mention: Luke Adam(notes) scored twice in the Sabres 4-2 victory over the Kings. Anze Kopitar(notes) notched two as well, but he scores all the time, so it's not as big a deal... Eric Staal(notes) had 2 goals and an assist, Jeff Skinner(notes) had three assists, and Jussi Jokinen(notes) had a lovely game-tying goal with two minutes to play, but the Carolina Hurricanes fell in overtime to the Washington Capitals, 4-3, on Mike Green's(notes) game-winner... Evgeni Malkin(notes) scored the powerplay game-winner as the Pittsburgh Penguins held on to beat the Calgary Flames 5-3... Andrew Desjardins(notes) and Joe Pavelski(notes) scored 2 goals apiece as the San Jose Sharks won 6-3 in their home opener over the Phoenix Coyotes... Dave Bolland(notes) scored two goals, had a game-high five shots, and went 12-for-18 in the faceoff circle as the Chicago Blackhawks' won the second game in the home-and-home series with the Dallas Stars by a score of 5-2... Ilya Bryzgalov(notes) made 20 saves en route to his first shutout as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers in their 3-0 win over the New Jersey Devils... Dany Heatley's(notes) first goal as a member of the Minnesota Wild would stand up as the game-winner in the Wild's 4-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets... Jose Theodore(notes) picked up a shutout in his first outing with the Florida Panthers, making 27 saves to lead them to a 2-0 win over the NY Islanders on the road... Tim Thomas(notes) was spectacular in Boston's second game of the season, making 25 saves in a 4-1 win. Brad Marchand(notes) and Tyler Seguin(notes) picked up two assists apiece, and Rich Peverely scored twice. The lone Lightning goal, scored by, Martin St. Louis(notes), was the 300th of his career... The Ducks beat the Rangers 2-1 in a shootout thanks to Bobby Ryan's(notes) winner, even though he fanned on the shot. The lone Rangers' goal went to Brad Richards(notes) -- his first in New York -- and it was a beautiful short-side snipe:
Did you know? Brian Campbell(notes) played a whopping 30:04 in his first game in Florida, over five minutes more than Jason Garrison(notes), the next closest Panther defender, and over ten minutes more than anyone else on the Florida blueline. Campbell also had the first assist on both Panther goals.
Dishonourable mention: Ilya Kovalchuk(notes) was a minus-3 in the Devils loss... Adrian Aucoin(notes) was minus-3 in the Phoenix Coyotes' loss at the San Jose Sharks... Tyler Bozak(notes) won only 2 of 12 faceoffs in Toronto... Nick Foligno(notes) finished a minus-3 in only 12 minutes of play in Toronto... Patrick Sharp(notes) picked up 14 PIM on a game misconduct and two minor penalties in the third period alone... Jaroslav Halak(notes) allowed 3 goals on 15 shots.