The NHL opened the exhibition portion of the 2013-14 season this past weekend with professional hockey players playing in professional hockey league games ... in September. What a quaint thought. They even had uniforms and everything, Jake Taylor. It was really great!
Here's a recap of this weekend's slate of games:
Washington Capitals 4, Winnipeg Jets 3 (shootout)
The Capitals registered the first victory of the season against the Jets by way of shootout. Evander Kane registered two goals for Winnipeg while Scott Kosmachuk was credited with the other tally. Jack Hillen, Stanislav Galiev and Troy Brouwer all scored for Washington. Mike Green was the only player to score in the shootout.
Edmonton Oilers 3, Calgary Flames 2 (split squad)
The Flames were victorious in an emotional sense by hosting the game at the Saddledome after it was severely damaged by floods earlier this summer. They were losers in a competition sense, however, as Martin Marincin scored the game-winning goal with less than five minutes remaining in regulation. David Perron and Ryan Jones also scored for the Oilers while Emile Poirier and Mike Cammalleri scored for the Flames.
Flames 6, Oilers 5 (shootout, split squad)
The other half of the Flames roster managed a victory against their rivals in a game that was decided via the shootout. Josh Jooris scored two goals for the Flames to force overtime while Taylor Hall scored a goal 24 seconds into his first shift at center.
Pittsburgh Penguins 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 5 (overtime)
Ryan Murray missed all of last season due to a shoulder injury, but things might be turning around for the Blue Jackets' top prospect. Murray registered the game-winning goal with 21 seconds left in overtime to give Columbus the win. Artem Anisimov, Cam Atkinson, James Wisniewski and Mark Letestu also scored for the Blue Jackets while Chuck Kobasew scored two for the Penguins. Dustin Jeffrey and James Neal also recorded goals for Pittsburgh.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 10-of-12 in 40 minutes of playing time.
Paul Ranger scored the game-winning goal in his first NHL game in four years, as the Maple Leafs beat the Flyers, 4-3. Nazem Kadri, Troy Bodie and Mason Raymond also scored for Toronto, while Brayden Schenn, Doug Clarkson and Nick Cousins tallied for Philadelphia.
St. Louis Blues 6, Dallas Stars 5 (shootout)
Tyler Seguin scored in his first game with the Stars. Valeri Nichushkin did, too, registering two goals in his first NHL contest. Erik Cole and Kevin Connauton also registered tallies for Dallas. Maxim Lapierre scored two goals for the Blues, while Adam Cracknell, Ryan Reaves and Sebastian Wannstrom also picked up goals. Vladimir Tarasenko was the only player to score in the shootout.
Buffalo Sabres 5, Montreal Canadiens 4 (shootout)
Mikhail Grigorenko scored the game-winning goal in the shootout and the Sabres beat the Canadiens, 5-4. Buffalo's first-round selection in 2013, Zemgus Girgensons, registered two goals in his first NHL game. Colton Gillies and Jamie McBain also picked up tallies. Michael Bournival scored two goals for the Canadiens, with Erik Nystrom and Martin St. Pierre also picking up tallies.
Ottawa Senators 3, Winnipeg Jets 1
Phoenix Coyotes 5, Los Angeles Kings 1 (split squad)
Brandon Yip scored two goals as the Coyotes coasted in a blowout of the Kings. Phoenix registered five consecutive goals before Slava Voynov registered Kings lone tally at the mid-way mark of the final frame.
Kings 2, Coyotes 4 (split squad)
Regardless of location, the Coyotes had the upper-hand on the Kings. Shane Doan registered two points (goal and assist), while Jordan Szwarz, Keith Yandle and Mikkel Boedker also picked up goals. Brandon Kozun and Tanner Pearson scored for the Kings.