Entering play on Monday the Colorado Avalanche — the entire team — and Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos had combined to score zero goals so far this season. Small sample size? Sure. But seeing as how Stamkos is one of the two best goal-scorers in the league and the Avalanche are loaded with some of the best young talent in the league, that was a pretty surprising development.
Good news, hockey fans: All of them found the back of the net on Monday.
For Colorado, it wasn't quite an offensive explosion as the Avs managed only two goals in Boston, but that was still enough to get a win thanks to Jamie McGinn getting a gift of a goal in the second period and Danny Briere scoring the game-winner with less than a second to play in regulation for what might have been the best finish of the young season.
Meanwhile, in Tampa Bay, Stamkos scored his first three goals of the season thanks to a natural hat trick in the second period as the Lightning just completely steamrolled Montreal by a 7-1 margin.
In Florida, nobody saw the Senators' 1-0 win over the Panthers, while the Buffalo Sabres are tanking for a top draft pick at an expert level.
All the NHL Scores
Avalanche 2, Bruins 1
Lightning 7, Canadiens 1
Three Things We Learned
1. Tampa Bay is good. Really good. And the scary thing for the rest of the Eastern Conference is they haven't even had a chance to get prized prospect Jonathan Drouin in the lineup. Everybody had a chance to pitch in on Monday as they improved their record to 2-0-1. Stamkos recorded a hat trick, Victor Hedman added four more points to take over the NHL scoring lead and Anton Stralman made the save of the night.
2. Buffalo is still bad. Really bad. The Sabres spent a little bit of money over the summer and tried their best to improve what was by far the worst team in the NHL last season, but it's not quite paying off. After their latest defeat, a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of the Anaheim Ducks, coach Ted Nolan said it looked an NHL team playing against a pee-wee team. Given that the shot total in the game was 44-12, he's probably not far off.
3. The Senators and Panthers are not a good draw on a Monday night. A franchise record low crowd of 7,311 showed up to see them play, and it was not a pretty sight. The fans that stayed away probably made a wise decision as the Senators were able to sneak out with a 1-0 win.
Not only did the Colorado Avalanche finally get on the scoreboard, but they also picked up their first win of the season and did it in pretty dramatic fashion thanks to Briere's game-winning goal at the buzzer. The Avalanche have taken a lot of heat over the summer and in the early part of the season, and the decision to trade P.A. Parenteau for Briere is one of the moves that has faced criticism. On Monday, it ended up paying off for them.
Stat of the Night
Steven Stamkos had 12 shots on goal for the Lightning. The Buffalo Sabres, as a team, had 12 shots on goal against the Ducks.
Post to Post
- Trevor Gillies was suspended 12 games by the American Hockey League for his latest outburst. That's not enough.
- The Penguins' fourth line was very bad last season. On Saturday night in their win over Toronto, the fourth line did something that was actually useful and it even led to a goal.
- Cody Eakin has been moved up to the top line for the Dallas Stars, at least for the time being.
- Some early season thoughts on the Chicago Blackhawks.