October 12, 2011
The truculent Senators forward set the tone and made the difference in their 4-3 shootout victory over the Minnesota Wild. Neil picked up a helper on Nick Foligno's(notes) second-period goal to cut it to 2-1, and then scored a huge third-period goal to cut it to 3-2. Colin Greening(notes) tied the game 2:09 later. The Senators scored three times in the shootout for the win. Neil led all players with eight hits.
The Pens got contributions from some unlikely sources, but it all came back to their veteran keeper in Pittsburgh's 4-2 home-opening win against the Florida Panthers. Fleury made 32 saves for the Penguins, including 21 in the first two periods. He helped Pittsburgh kill five Florida power plays, and had this awesome stop on Stephen Weiss(notes):
Before crapping the bed in the shootout, Backstrom made 41 saves for the Wild, including 28 in the first two periods.
Honorable mention: Kyle Brodziak(notes), Devin Setoguchi(notes) and Nick Johnson(notes) had the Minnesota goals. … Daniel Alfredsson(notes) had the final goal of the shootout, preventing a Dany Heatley(notes) attempt for the Wild from materializing (boo). … Matt Cooke(notes) scored his third goal for the Pens, tying him for the League lead. … Pascal Dupuis(notes) had a goal and an assist, Richard Park(notes) had a short-handed goal and James Neal(notes) scored his second. … Marcel Goc(notes) and Tomas Fleischmann(notes) scored their first goals as Panthers.
Did you know? Laurie Boschman, Brad Marsh, Jody Hull and Mike Peluso were among the 14 members of the 1992-93 Senators—who went 10-70-4 — in attendance for the game against the Wild. (AP)
Dishonorable mention: Mikko Koivu(notes) was .393 on 28 faceoff attempts. … Zenon Konopka(notes) earned 17 PIMs after a fight, an instigator and a misconduct. … Heatley had a secondary assist and was a minus-1. ... Brian Campbell(notes) was a minus-3.