Vitek Vanecek made 30 saves in his NHL debut, Tom Wilson had a goal and an assist and the Washington Capitals beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 on Friday night to sweep the season-opening series. ''The dream came true,'' Vitek said before Wilson threw a towel full of shaving cream in his face during the goalie's postgame interview. The 25-year-old Vitek, a second-round draft pick of the Capitals in 2014, made his first NHL start after five seasons in the minor leagues.
Gritty's hat trick was that the mascot had one at all, a comically oversized Flyers cap he flung, frisbee-style, onto the ice. Gritty went big - and so did Travis Konecny in his first career hat trick. Konecny scored three goals and had an assist and the Philadelphia Flyers survived losing team MVP Sean Couturier to an injury in a 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night.
Chris Driedger will be Florida's starting goaltender when the Panthers play their delayed season-opener Sunday night against the Chicago Blackhawks. Driedger becomes the 11th opening-night starter in Panthers history. Regular starter Sergei Bobrovsky, who missed most of Panthers' training camp, is in line to start Florida's second game against Chicago on Tuesday.