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Around the League notebook for Thursday, Oct. 8

by NHL Public Relations


Home Team in Caps

Winnipeg 6, BOSTON 2

Ottawa 3, BUFFALO 1

TAMPA BAY 3, Philadelphia 2 (OT)

ST. LOUIS 3, Edmonton 1

NASHVILLE 2, Carolina 1

DALLAS 3, Pittsburgh 0

Minnesota 5, COLORADO 4


Forwards Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, the top two picks from the 2015 NHL Draft, made their highly anticipated debuts Thursday:

* Eichel, the No. 2 selection, scored the Sabres' first goal of the season. According to Sabres PR, Eichel (18 years, 346 days) became the youngest Sabres player to score in a season-opener and the second-youngest to score in his Sabres debut. He also finished 6-for-12 (50.0 percent) in the faceoff circle, had three shots on goal and a minus-1 rating in 21:58 of ice time, tied with Evander Kane for the most ice time among Sabres forwards.

* McDavid, the No. 1 pick, won three of 13 faceoffs (23.1 percent) had two shots on goal and a minus-1 rating in 18:07 of ice time, the second-highest time on ice among Oilers forward behind Taylor Hall (18:43).


Trailing 3-0 after 20 minutes and 4-1 through two periods, the Wild scored four unanswered goals in the third period, bookended by Zach Parise, who had his third NHL hat trick, to rally past the Avalanche in a clash of Central Division rivals.

* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Parise became the second player in Wild history to have a hat trick in a season-opening game (Marc Chouinard, Oct. 5, 2005 vs. Calgary Flames). He has 10-14—24 in 22 games against the Avalanche.

* Elias adds that the Wild overcame a three-goal deficit in the third period to win a season-opening game in regulation for the first time. In fact, the Wild are the first NHL team to accomplish that feat since Oct. 11, 1986 (Hartford 6, Calgary 5).

* The Wild improved to 4-0-0 in four all-time season-opening games against the Avalanche. Overall, the Wild (9-4-2; .667) own the best season-opening record in NHL history by points percentage; they entered the game tied with the Avalanche (19-10-7; .625).


Dallas Stars goaltender Antti Niemi stopped 37 shots, and had two assists, to backstop his new club to a season-opening victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Per Elias, Niemi is the first goaltender to record multiple assists and a shutout in the same game.

* Since his first NHL shutout with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2009-10, Niemi ranks second in the NHL with 33 shutouts, trailing New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (35).

* Niemi, who was acquired via trade at the 2015 NHL Draft, also improved to 5-1-1 in eight games against Pittsburgh (2.24 GAA, .929 SV%).

* Forward Mattias Janmark scored the winning goal in his NHL debut. Reigning Art Ross Trophy winner Jamie Benn and Ales Hemsky each scored power-play goals.

* The Stars won their 15th home opener since moving to Dallas in 1993-94 (15-3-4). They also improved to 10-2-3 at home against the Penguins in that span.


Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jason Garrison scored his second goal of the game at 2:17 of overtime after being sprung on a breakaway in the NHL's first regular-season 3-on-3 overtime period, lifting the defending Eastern Conference champions to a season-opening win against the Philadelphia Flyers.

* Garrison had his first NHL multi-goal game and second overtime goal. Four of his six goals in 71 games with the Lightning have been game-winners.

* Garrison has 13 NHL game-winning goals, all since 2010-11. Three defensemen have more such goals in that span: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, 16; Erik Karlsson and Dustin Byfuglien, 15.

* The Lightning, who raised the Eastern Conference championship banner before the game, improved to 9-0-1 in their last 10 home games against the Flyers.


Ben Bishop denied the Flyers on two penalty shots, stopping Claude Giroux in the first period and Scott Laughton at 1:27 of overtime. Per Elias, Bishop, who improved to 2-for-3 on penalty shots in his NHL career, became the first goalie in Lightning history to face multiple penalty shots in a game and the first to face a penalty shot in overtime.

* The Flyers were awarded a penalty shot in their season opener for the second time in the past three seasons (Oct. 2, 2013 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, Wayne Simmonds stopped by Jonathan Bernier).


* In addition to Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, three other members of the 2015 NHL Draft class made their debuts Thursday: Noah Hanifin (No. 4, Carolina Hurricanes), Mikko Rantanen (No. 10, Avalanche) and Daniel Sprong (No. 46, Penguins).

* Winnipeg Jets forward Nicolas Petan scored in his NHL debut. Teammate Nikolaj Ehlers (Aalborg, Denmark) became the 10th Danish-born skater to play in an NHL game (via Elias).

* Flyers defenseman Evgeny Medvedev, 33, had an assist in his NHL debut.

* Forwards Joonas Kemppainen (Boston Bruins), Anton Slepyshev (Oilers), Daniel Sprong (Penguins) and Sergei Plotnikov (Penguins) and St. Louis Blues defensemen Joel Edmundson and Colton Parayko also made their League debuts.

* Wild defenseman Ryan Suter had his 300th career assist.

* Penguins forward David Perron played in his 500th NHL game.

* Dave Hakstol (Flyers) made his NHL head-coaching debut. Dan Bylsma was behind the bench for his first game as Sabres coach.



* Robby Fabbri, a friend, minor-hockey rival and former teammate of Connor McDavid, scored the winning goal for the Blues against McDavid's Oilers in his first NHL game. Via Elias, Fabbri (19 years, 259 days) is the youngest Blues player to score a goal in his NHL debut.

* The Blues improved to 18-2-1 in their past 21 games against the Oilers, including an active seven-game winning streak and a 10-1-0 mark at Scottrade Center.


* The Jets scored three goals in the second and third periods, with six different players finding the score sheet, to win their first game at TD Garden since the franchise relocated to Winnipeg, snapping a 13-game skid in the building.

* The Winnipeg/Atlanta franchise last won in Boston on March 31, 2007, when Keith Tkachuk lifted the Thrashers to a 3-2 victory with his tie-breaking goal at 19:41 of the third period.


* The line of Kyle Turris (2-0—2), Mark Stone (0-2—2) and Mike Hoffman (0-2—2) combined for six points to power the Senators to their second season-opening win in Buffalo in three seasons (also Oct. 4, 2014, a 1-0 win).

* Turris beat former teammate Robin Lehner, who made his Sabres debut, just 30 seconds into the game for Ottawa’s first goal of 2015-16. Via Elias, it was the fastest season-opening goal in Senators history.


* Nashville Predators forward Craig Smith scored 2:23 after the opening faceoff and Viktor Arvidsson scored his first NHL goal, the eventual game-winner, later in the first to help Nashville improve to 4-1-1 in their past six season-opening games.

* Pekka Rinne made 25 saves to improve to 5-1-0 in six games against Carolina (1.65 GAA, .935 SV%).


Defenseman Francois Beauchemin (0-3—3) had three assists in his Avalanche debut. … The Sabres had eight players -- Carlo Colaiacovo, Jack Eichel, Cody Franson, Evander Kane, David Legwand, Robin Lehner, Jamie McGinn and Ryan O'Reilly -- debut with them Thursday, a franchise record. … St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and his son dropped the ceremonial puck before the Blues' season opener against the Oilers.

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