Only time will tell if Guillaume Latendresse will be able to replicate his breakthrough 2009-10 season, in which he scored 25 goals in 55 games after being acquired by the Minnesota Wild, and a career-high 27 overall.
Latendresse got off on the right start on Thursday, when he scored the first goal of the 2010-11 season and opened the scoring in Minnesota's Compuware NHL Premiere game against the Carolina Hurricanes in Helsinki, Finland.
In the end, though, it was Carolina goalie Cam Ward earning the first victory of the season, as he stopped 26 shots in a 4-3 win by the Hurricanes. Brandon Sutter, who scored just one goal in 50 games as a rookie two seasons ago, had a pair of them. Sutter not only tallied Carolina's first goal -- also the first power-play goal scored in the NHL this season -- he added what held up as the game-winner late in the second period.
Philadelphia's Daniel Briere had the honor of scoring the first goal at Pittsburgh's new Consol Energy Center when he beat Marc-Andre Fleury with a power-play deflection 2:51 into the second period. Teammate Blair Betts had the first even-strength goal in the new arena when he scored at 17:15, and Claude Giroux scored the first shorthanded goal of the season -- and in the building's history -- when he beat Marc-Andre Fleury early in the third period.
Pittsburgh's Tyler Kennedy became the first Penguin to turn on the red light in the team's new home when he scored 44 seconds into the third period. It was also the first NHL goal allowed by Flyers rookie goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who made his NHL debut and became the first goalie to win a game in the new building as the Flyers edged the Penguins 3-2.
Bobrovsky, 22, also became the youngest goaltender in Flyers history to win a season-opening game.
The Toronto Maple Leafs got a first -- their first win in a home opener since 2000 -- by holding off the Montreal Canadiens 3-2. Rookie center Tim Brant, a Toronto-area native who has played with five AHL and four NHL teams since 2005, scored the first goal of the season for the Leafs. Dustin Boyd and Jeff Halpern scored their first goals for Montreal in their debuts with the Canadiens.
Colorado's Paul Stastny scored the season's first overtime goal, beating Marty Turco with 1:20 left in the extra period to give the Avs a 4-3 win over Chicago -- and denying Turco a win in his first game as a Blackhawk.
The first fighting majors of the season were assessed to Edmonton's Ryan Jones and Calgary's Stefan Mayer, who fought 5:53 into the Flames-Oilers game at Rexall Place. Jordan Eberle, one of the Oilers' trio of highly touted rookies making his NHL debut, made his first NHL goal one to remember, scoring on a spectacular shorthanded deke and shot past Miikka Kiprusoff.
Flames rookie T.J. Brodie had perhaps the most interesting first. The 20-year-old defenseman took the ice at Rexall Place wearing No. 66 -- the first NHL player to wear that number since Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux retired five years ago.