Top prospect Ryan Murray scored with 21.2 seconds left in overtime to lift the Columbus Blue Jackets past the Pittsburgh Penguins, 5-4, in the preseason opener for both teams Sunday at Nationwide Arena.
Murray, the second pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, missed most of the 2012-13 season because of a shoulder injury he sustained playing in the Western Hockey League last November. The defenseman played more than 23 minutes in the contest, and could begin the 2013-14 season with the Blue Jackets.
Recent addition Chuck Kobasew scored twice for the Penguins, including at 13:05 of the third period to knot the score at 4-4. Kobasew joined the Penguins for the start of training camp on a tryout contract, but there are potential openings among the bottom-six forwards in Pittsburgh.
James Neal welcomed Columbus to the Eastern Conference and the new Metropolitan Division with a goal 47 seconds into the first period. A pair of Columbus power-play goals wrapped around Kobasew's first of the evening made it a 2-2 game after 20 minutes. Artem Anisimov and James Wisniewski had the goals for the Blue Jackets.
Dustin Jeffrey, another forward fighting for a bottom-six slot with the Penguins, scored 4:19 into the third on the power play, but ex-Penguins forward Mark Letestu and Cam Atkinson tallied 30 seconds apart to push Columbus into the lead.
Marc-Andre Fleury started in net for the Penguins and allowed two goals on 14 shots in two periods of work. Curtis McElhinney, signed in the offseason to likely backup Vezina Tropy winner Sergei Bobrovsky, also played for two periods and stopped 24 of 26 shots.
Maple Leafs 4, Flyers 3: Defenseman Paul Ranger scored the winner in his first competitive NHL game since stepping away from the sport in October 2009 as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Philadelphia Flyers at Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario, in the first preseason tilt for both teams.
Ranger, who played more than 24 minutes per game in 2007-08 and 2008-09 as a young defenseman for the Tampa Bay Lightning, returned to hockey last season with the Toronto Marlies in the American Hockey League and signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Leafs for this season.
Toronto let a three-goal lead slip away before Ranger's goal. The Maples Leafs had scored three times in four shots on Philadelphia starting goalie Steve Mason to open up the advantage. Nazem Kadri, Troy Bodie and Mason Raymond scored in quick succession for Toronto. Raymond is in camp on a tryout contract after scoring 10 goals and 22 points for the Vancouver Canucks last season.
It was the second straight competitive game in which Toronto has yielded a three-goal lead, though obviously this one had far less at stake. Brayden Schenn, Doug Clarkson (Dave Clarkson's younger brother) and Nick Cousins scored for the Flyers. Mason finished with 12 saves on 15 shots, while Toronto starter turned aside 14 of 17 shots.
Lapierre signed a two-year contract with the Blues in the summer after parts of three seasons with the Vancouver Canucks. Sebastien Wannstrom, Adam Cracknell and Ryan Reeves also scored for the Blues, and Jake Allen stopped 33 of 38 shots.
2013 first-round pick Valeri Nichushkin scored twice in his first competitive NHL game for the Stars. Tyler Seguin, the team's marquee offseason addition, had a goal and an assist while playing center on the top line with Erik Cole and Jamie Benn. Cole also had a goal and an assist.
Sabres 5, Canadiens 4 (SO): Zemgus Girgensons scored twice and Mikhail Grigorenko had the lone shootout goal for the Buffalo Sabres in a 5-4 victory against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre Sunday.
Girgensons and Grigorenko were both 2012 first-round picks by the Sabres. Both of Buffalo's 2013 first-rounders, defensemen Rasmus Ristolainen (one assist) and Nikita Zadorov, were also in the lineup for the Sabres.
"I liked a lot of our younger players and the poise that they had in an environment like this for the first time,” Sabres coach Ron Rolston said.
Jamie McBain, who arrived from Carolina in an offseason trade, and Colton Gillies, who is in camp on a tryout contract, also scored for the Sabres. Gillies tallied with 4:24 left in regulation to force overtime.
Michael Bournival scored Montreal's first two goals. Defenseman Greg Pateryn had three assists, while Jarred Tinordi had two. Michael McCarron, a first-round choice by the Canadiens in June, had an two assists and goaltender Zachary Fucale, one of Montreal's second-round selections, stopped 13 of 15 shots in relief of Peter Budaj (10 of 12). Jhonas Enroth started for Buffalo and yielded three goals on 13 shots before giving way to Matt Hackett, who turned aside 11 of 12 shots and three shootout attempts.
Senators 3, Jets 1: New addition Bobby Ryan had a goal and an assist to help the Ottawa Senators defeat the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. Ryan, acquired in one of the biggest trades of the offseason just hours after captain Daniel Alfredsson signed with the new division rival Detroit Red Wings, skated on a line with Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek, which is where he figures to start the season.
Coyotes 5, Kings 1: Brandon Yip, Guillaume Latendresse and David Rundblad all had three points to help the Phoenix Coyotes defeat the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center Sunday as part of a split-squad sweep.
All three made a good impression as they try to secure a spot on the roster. Latendresse is in camp on a tryout contract, while Yip signed a one-year, two-way deal in the offseason. Rundblad, a first-round pick by Ottawa who arrived in a trade for Kyle Turris, has 38 games of NHL experience but spent the majority of the 2012-13 campaign in the AHL.
Yip had two goals and Latendresse one in a span of less than 14 minutes that extended a two-goal lead to five. Gilbert Brule and Rob Klinkhammer had power-play goals in the first period to put Phoenix in front. Slava Voynov scored for the Kings, and Matt Frattin, acquired in a trade for goaltender Jonathan Bernier, had the lone assist.
Coyotes 4, Kings 2: Phoenix scored four unanswered special teams goals to defeat Los Angeles at Jobing.com Arena. Two of the Kings' top prospects, Tanner Pearson and Brandon Kozun, scored in the first 2:39 of the contest, but the Coyotes came back with a pair of power-play and shorthanded tallies.
Coyotes defenseman Rostislav Klesla left the game with an injury and was taken from the ice on a stretcher after a hit from Kings forward Jordan Nolan. He remained at the arena for further evaluation in the immediate aftermath of the hit, according to media reports.
After a first-period goal by Jordan Szwarz, Shane Doan and Mikkel Boedker had power-play strikes in the second to put Phoenix in front. Keith Yandle scored on a 3-on-1 break shorthanded 5:03 into the third period to make it a two-goal lead.
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