The Rangers were unable to slow down Phoenix's Radim Vrbata as he netted a hat trick for the second straight game (he ended the 2012-13 season with a hat trick), while the Canucks were worn down and overwhelmed by a Sharks team that was clicking on all cylinders.
Elsewhere in the NHL, the Capitals came from behind and overcame a disastrous start by Braden Holtby as they knocked off the Calgary Flames. Nashville wasn't quite as lucky as it couldn't dig itself out of the early three-goal hole Pekka Rinne left them in before he was lifted for backup Carter Hutton.
All The NHL Scores
Penguins 3, Devils 0
Capitals 5, Flames 4
Bruins 3, Lightning 1
Kings 3, Wild 2
Sharks 4, Canucks 1
Coyotes 4, Rangers 1
Prior to Thursday's games we asked you Five Burning Questions regarding the day's action. Here are your cool, soothing answers.
1. How will the Boston Bruins' revamped lineup look?
Good enough to pick up a 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Boston seemed to control most of the night at even-strength while newcomer Loui Eriksson had a particularly strong performance. Jarome Iginla made some friends in the Boston fan base by dropping the gloves with Radko Gudas. That said, it's probably not very smart for a team to lose one of its top-line forwards for five minutes so he can fight somebody like Radko Gudas.
2. How will the debut of Cory Schneider go?
Schneider, who ended Martin Brodeur's run of consecutive opening night starts, gave up two goals in the first period and wasn't really challenged much after that as the Penguins went into a defensive shell to protect their lead. He wasn't great, but the Devils didn't give him any support offensively as they were blanked by Marc-Andre Fleury at the other end of the ice. Doesn't matter how good your goalie plays, it's awfully hard to win if your team puts goose eggs up on the scoreboard.
3. How's Roberto Luongo going to play?
Not particularly well, but you know what? He wasn't the only Canuck player that had that kind of night. Vancouver was pretty much dominated by San Jose in John Tortorella's first game behind the team's bench and it probably wouldn't have made much of a difference if it was Luongo, Cory Schneider, or any other goalie in the crease. Luongo actually started off pretty strong, but San Jose's attack just proved to be too much.
No. None. The Kings ended up winning in a shootout and neither Brown or Pominville figured into anything. They combined for zero points, two shots (one each), and zero penalty minutes. It was just another NHL game. Brown was given a two-game suspension for a hit on Pominville last season, and there was no spillover on Thursday.
5. Will Washington's power play keep up its success?
Most definitely. The Capitals were 2-for-3 on the man-advantage, getting goals from Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom as they erased an early three-goal deficit against the Calgary Flames. Backstrom's goal tied the game at four late in the third period to send the game to overtime. The Capitals would eventually win in a shootout thanks to goals from Mikhail Grabovski and Ovechkin. And in case you forgot, that Grabovski guy is still pretty good.
Marc-Andre Fleury, the much maligned goaltender of the Pittsburgh Penguins, was stellar in their 3-0 win over the New Jersey Devils stopping all 27 shots he faced, including a ridiculous behind the back save midway through the third period. With backup Tomas Vokoun sidelined for 3-6 months due to a blood clot and the only backup on the roster being Jeff Zatkoff, Fleury is going to have to be the man in net for the Penguins. Given the way he played in the playoffs last season -- when he lost his starting job to Vokoun in the first round -- there had to be some concern coming into the season. For one night Fleury silenced the critics.
Stat of the Night
According to the Elias Sports Bureau the Boston Bruins became the first team in NHL history to score their first goal of the season on a penalty shot. Chris Kelly opened the scoring for Boston at the 11:39 mark of the first period when he beat Anders Lindback on a shorthanded penalty shot.
Post to Post
- Who gets the blame if the Minnesota Wild suck this season?
- Speaking of the Wild, Jason Pominville signed a new five-year contract extension on Thursday.
- Seth Jones: The NHL's first African-American star?
- NHL shuts down in impasse over fighting!
- Five Senators who must step up in 2013-14.