Home Team in Caps
Montreal 3, TORONTO 1
NY Rangers 3, CHICAGO 2
Vancouver 5, CALGARY 1
San Jose 5, LOS ANGELES 1
OPENING NIGHT THEMES
* The road team won the four games contested Wednesday. Montreal, Vancouver and San Jose also opened the 2014-15 season with road wins in Toronto, Calgary and Los Angeles, respectively.
* Newly appointed captains Max Pacioretty (Montreal; 2-0—2) and Joe Pavelski (San Jose; 1-2—3) each recorded multiple points to guide his team to victory.
* The Rangers spoiled the Blackhawks’ banner-raising ceremony, marking the eighth time in the last 10 seasons that the defending Stanley Cup champion lost its first game of the season (Stanley Cup champions: 2-6-2).
DÉJÀ VU FOR CANADIENS
Max Pacioretty scored the first goal of the NHL season on Montreal's opening shot of the game, the second consecutive season he has accomplished both feats. He added an empty-net goal to lead the Canadiens past the Maple Leafs in their seventh consecutive season-opening game. Overall, Montreal has won each the last seven meetings between the clubs (dating to March 1, 2014).
* Pacioretty also scored the first goal of the 2014-15 NHL season on Montreal's first shot at 4:42 of the first period at Toronto on Oct. 8, 2014, a 4-3 Canadiens win. He has 13-7—20 in his past 22 games against the Maple Leafs.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, P.K. Subban (0-3—3) is the first Canadiens defenseman to record three points in a season-opening game since Oct. 9, 1986, when Gaston Gingras went 0-3—3 in a 7-4 loss at the Maple Leafs.
FIRST-EVER COACH’S CHALLENGE
At 6:35 of the second period in the first game of the season, Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock requested the first-ever Coach’s Challenge to review whether Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec interfered with Toronto goaltender Jonathan Bernier prior to Jeff Petry’s goal.
The Referee determined that Plekanec interfered with Bernier before the puck crossed the goal line and, in accordance with Rule 78.7, overturned the original on-ice call. Since the Coach’s Challenge resulted in the original call being overturned, the Maple Leafs retained their time-out.
RANGERS START STRONG, SPOIL BLACKHAWKS' BANNER RAISING
The Rangers scored three first-period goals, including Derek Stepan's eventual game-winner in the final minute, to spoil the Blackhawks' banner raising and win their third consecutive visit to the United Center (dating to Jan. 8, 2014). The Rangers also improved to 13-2-0 in their past 15 road games against Western Conference opponents since the start of 2014-15. Overall, the Rangers set a franchise record with 28 road wins last season.
* Henrik Lundqvist made 32 saves to improve to 6-1-2 with a 1.98 goals-against average and .935 save percentage in nine games against the Blackhawks.
* Lundqvist started his 10th consecutive season-opening game for the Rangers dating to 2006-07 (6-3-1, 2.49 GAA, .916 SV%). Ed Giacomin, who started 11 consecutive Rangers season openers from 1965-66 to 1975-76, is the only other goalie to accomplish the feat with the franchise.
NEW-LOOK SHARKS CONTINUE OPENING NIGHT SUCCESS
Newly appointed captain Joe Pavelski (1-2—3) and offseason acquisition Martin Jones (19 saves) helped San Jose open its 25th anniversary season with a second consecutive season-opening win against the Kings. The Sharks have won six straight season openers, the longest active such winning streak in the NHL, and are 8-1-1 in their past 10 such contests (4-1-1 on the road).
* Pavelski has 79 goals since the start of 2013-14, the second-most in the NHL during that span, behind Alex Ovechkin with 104.
* After landing with the Sharks via a pair of offseason trades, Jones won his regular-season debut against his former club. The 25-year-old played 34 games with the Kings during the past two seasons, going 16-11-2 with a 1.99 GAA, .923 SV%, and seven shutouts.
CANUCKS AVENGE POSTSEASON DEFEAT
Daniel Sedin (1-2—3), Alexandre Burrows (1-1—2) and Brandon Sutter (1-1—2) each had multipoint games as the Canucks defeated the Flames in their first meeting since the opening round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, a six-game series victory by Calgary. The Canucks are 10-2-0 against the Flames in the regular-season dating to April 6, 2013; that includes a 5-1-0 mark at Scotiabank Saddledome. Vancouver also improved to 6-3-1 in 10 all-time season-opening contests against Calgary.
* Henrik Sedin also found the back of the net for Vancouver. He (3-12—15) and brother Daniel (4-11—15) each have 15 points in 15 season openers. Daniel also has 28-54—82 in 80 games against the Flames.
* Sutter's goal stood as the game-winner in his Canucks debut; he was acquired from the Penguins on July 25.
FANS CELEBRATE PUCK DROP AT 2015 MOLSON CANADIAN NHL FACE-OFF
The NHL, in conjunction with the Flames and Tourism Calgary, hosted the 2015 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off at historic Fort Calgary in Alberta. Neo soul/indie pop band Fitz & The Tantrums headlined the free hockey and music festival, which culminated with a live viewing party of the Flames' home opener.
Alternative rock band Reuben and the Dark, Canadian singer/songwriter Jocelyn Alice and Calgary DJ duo Boogie Hill Faders also performed at the event, which featured NHL Alumni appearances, prize giveaways and sponsored hockey activities.
MILESTONES & BENCHMARKS
* Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin (undrafted) and Sharks forward Joonas Donskoi (No. 99 2010, Florida) each scored in their NHL debuts.
* Rangers forward Oscar Lindberg (No. 57, 2010, Phoenix) scored his first NHL goal less than two minutes into his second NHL game.
* Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton (No. 147, 2012) had an assist in his NHL debut. Teammate Jared McCann also played in his first NHL game.
* Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty played in his 400th NHL game.
* Sharks coach Peter DeDoer and Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock each debuted with their new clubs.
Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa (0-1—1) is 19-29—48 in 48 games vs. the Rangers. … Sharks forward Joe Thornton (1-1—2) is 14-52—66 in 71 career games against the Kings. … Marc-Edouard Vlasic (0-2—2) played in his 671st NHL game, all with the Sharks, tying Mike Rathje for the most by a defenseman in Sharks history. … The Blues signed forward Scott Gomez to a one-year contract. … The Oilers announced Andrew Ference, Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will serve as alternate captains for the 2015-16 season. … The Hurricanes named defenseman Justin Faulk an alternate captains, joining captain Eric Staal and alternate captain Jordan Staal. … The NHL, led by Commissioner Gary Bettman, will ring the NYSE Opening Bell on Oct. 8 to celebrate the start of the 2015-16 hockey season. … Members of the Toronto Blue Jays received a standing ovation at Air Canada Centre on the eve of their first postseason game in 22 years.