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Daily Primer, Oct. 2: Maple Leafs look for two in a row

Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 9:47 AM / 2013 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

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Daily Primer, Oct. 2: Maple Leafs look for two in a row
Day 2 of the 2013-14 NHL season will see five more teams play their opening games, as well as the Toronto Maple Leafs trying to make it two wins in a row after beginning their season with a 4-3 road victory against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.

Day 2 of the 2013-14 NHL season will see five more teams play their opening games, as well as the Toronto Maple Leafs trying to make it two wins in a row after beginning their season with a 4-3 road victory against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.

Here's a quick look at Wednesday's action:

Toronto Maple Leafs at Philadelphia Flyers -- The Flyers open their season trying to bounce back after missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2012-13. They're relying on newcomers like goaltender Ray Emery and defenseman Mark Streit, as well as holdovers such as Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell. Jonathan Bernier will get his first start with the Maple Leafs after James Reimer got Toronto off to a winning start with 34 saves in Montreal. Phil Kessel had an assist for the Maple Leafs hours after signing an eight-year, $64 million contract extension.

Buffalo Sabres at Detroit Red Wings -- The new season's first edition of Wednesday Night Rivalry (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN/TSN2) marks the Red Wings' return to the Eastern Conference following the NHL's offseason realignment. It will also mark the Detroit debut of offseason acquisitions Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss. The Sabres, who named Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott as co-captains on Tuesday, are trying to rebuild after back-to-back non-playoff seasons.

Anaheim Ducks at Colorado Avalanche -- Old and young meet as the Ducks begin their season in Denver. The "old" is Anaheim forward Teemu Selanne, who at 43 will begin what's expected to be his final NHL season. Selanne already had three NHL seasons under his belt when Colorado rookie Nathan MacKinnon, the top pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, was born in 1995. MacKinnon is expected to make his NHL debut, as will new coach Patrick Roy, who took over his former team during the offseason.

And here are five fast facts from Tuesday night:

-- Mikhail Grabovski, who signed a one-year contract with the Washington Capitals this offseason, became the first player in 21 years to debut with his new team and score a hat trick in its season opener. The last to do so was Chris Kontos, who scored four goals for the Tampa Bay Lightning in his team debut on Oct. 7, 1992.

-- With the Chicago Blackhawks' 6-4 victory over the Capitals, the reigning Stanley Cup champion improved to 51-21-14 in its season opener since 1927-28. However, it marked only the second such victory by the defending champion in the last eight seasons (2-4-2); the Pittsburgh Penguins recorded the only other win by defeating the New York Rangers to start their 2009-10 campaign.

-- The Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs now have met in five straight season openers. In NHL history, there only have been two other instances when the same teams faced off in five or more consecutive openers: the Canadiens and Blackhawks matched up in six straight openers (1949-50 through 1954-55), while the Maple Leafs and Rangers met in five consecutive openers (1940-41 through 1944-45).

-- The Maple Leafs (5-0-2) have recorded at least one point in their last seven season openers, the longest active streak in the League. The longest all-time point streak in season openers is 17, set by the Canadiens from 1963-64 through 1979-80 (13-0-4).

-- Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba, who was taken with the ninth pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, scored the game-tying goal, added an assist and logged a game-high 25:02 in his NHL debut. For his efforts, the 19-year-old blueliner was named first star of a 5-4 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

Quote of the Day

I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie