The St. Louis Blues return to the scene of their Stanley Cup championship when they play the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV). It's the first time the teams will play since June 12, when the Blues won 4-1 against the Bruins in Boston to win Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, giving St. Louis its first NHL championship since entering the League in 1967.
Here's a look at the first game of the following season between the past 13 sets of finalists:
Oct. 10, 2018, Capital One Arena: The Capitals, who defeated the first-year Golden Knights in five games to win their first NHL championship, got a four-point game (one goal, three assists) from Evgeny Kuznetsov for their first regular-season win against Vegas in three tries. Alex Ovechkin, the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as MVP of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, scored twice on assists from Kuznetsov, handing Vegas its third loss in four games to start the season.
Oct. 7, 2017, PPG Paints Arena: The Penguins, who repeated as champions in 2017 by shutting out the Predators in Games 5 and 6 of the Cup Final, kept Nashville off the scoreboard again on the first Saturday of the 2017-18 season. Goalie Matt Murray made 26 saves for his third consecutive shutout against the Predators, and Evgeni Malkin got the Penguins off to a fast start when he scored 1:06 into the first period.
Video: Murray records shutout in 4-0 win against Predators
Oct. 20, 2016, PPG Paints Arena: Five months after defeating the Sharks in six games to win the Stanley Cup, the Penguins rallied with three goals in the third period after San Jose scored twice in the second to take a 2-0 lead. Goals by Evgeni Malkin and Scott Wilson tied the game before the midway point of the third period, and Patric Hornqvist's power-play goal with 5:58 remaining put the Penguins ahead to stay. It wasn't pretty, but as Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said, "You don't get points for style at the end of the night."
Oct. 24, 2015, United Center: The Blackhawks, who shut out the Lightning in Game 6 of the 2015 Cup Final to win their third championship in six seasons, limited the Lightning to 21 shots on goal against Corey Crawford, who shut out Tampa Bay in the Cup-clinching game, and Jonathan Toews scored 17 seconds into overtime. It's the last time the Blackhawks have defeated the Lightning; Tampa Bay is 7-0-0 against Chicago entering this season.
Video: TBL@CHI: Toews tallies 17 seconds into OT for the win
Jan. 8, 2015, Staples Center: The Rangers, who lost the 2014 Final to the Kings in five games, continued their best run in more than 40 years by rallying for a win in Los Angeles. New York trailed 2-0 before scoring four straight goals, then held on for its fourth consecutive win and 12th in 13 games. The 12-1-0 streak was the Rangers' best run since 1973. The Rangers are the last team to defeat the reigning Cup champion in their first game during the following season.
Jan. 19, 2014, United Center: The Blackhawks and Bruins picked up where they left off in the 2013 Cup Final, a six-game series that saw three overtime games and a stunning comeback by Chicago in the deciding game. This time, there were 73 shots on goal through overtime before the Blackhawks got the extra point when Patrick Kane scored the deciding goal in the third round of the shootout. "It definitely had that playoff flavor to the game," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said.
Nov. 15, 2013 at Prudential Center: The lockout that shortened the 2012-13 season to 48 games pushed back the rematch of the six-game 2012 Cup Final until the middle of November 2013. But the result was the same, though the star wasn't. Goalie Ben Scrivens, filling in for injured 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Quick, made 26 saves for the shutout. Dwight King scored on a deflection with 6:52 remaining in the third period, and Anze Kopitar hit the empty net for a power-play goal with three seconds remaining.
Jan. 7, 2012 at TD Garden: The Canucks did in the rematch what they couldn't do in the 2011 Cup Final, which is take advantage of their power-play opportunities. Vancouver was 4-for-11 against the Bruins after going 2-for-33 in seven games during the 2011 Final. Massachusetts native Cory Schneider, who played at Boston College, made his first NHL start in his home state and finished with 36 saves, helping the Canucks go 7-for-7 on the penalty kill.
Jan. 23, 2011, United Center: The Flyers, who had to watch the Blackhawks raise the Stanley Cup at Wachovia Center (now Wells Fargo Center) after winning the 2010 Cup Final in six games, got a small measure of revenge with a victory in the rematch in Chicago. "It was obviously a big motivation factor for us," said Flyers forward Jeff Carter, who scored two goals. Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves and Claude Giroux had four assists for the Flyers.
Jan. 31, 2010, Mellon Arena: The Penguins won 2-1 in Games 6 and 7 of the 2009 Cup Final to take home their first championship since 1992. The first game between the teams in 2009-10 ended with the same result, although the Penguins needed goals by Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in the shootout against Jimmy Howard, who made 46 saves through overtime. Marc-Andre Fleury, one of the heroes of the Game 7 win, made 23 saves and didn't allow a goal in the shootout.
Nov. 11, 2008, Joe Louis Arena: The Penguins, who scored 10 goals during their six-game loss to the Red Wings in the 2008 Cup Final, had considerably more offensive success in the rematch. Jordan Staal, a 20-year-old center, scored three goals in the third period after Detroit took a 5-2 lead, then set up Ruslan Fedotenko for the game-winner at 3:49 of overtime. Marian Hossa, who signed with the Red Wings after playing for Pittsburgh in the 2008 Cup Final, had two assists.
March 3, 2008, Honda Center: The 2007 finalists didn't play their only game of 2007-08 until late in the season, but the result was the same as it was the previous spring. The Ducks, who defeated the Senators in five games to win the Cup in 2007, extended their winning streak to six on the strength of a 24-save effort by Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who won his 30th game of the season. The Senators, in their third game since general manager Bryan Murray took over as coach after firing John Paddock, lost for the 16th time in 24 games (8-14-2).
Dec. 6, 2006, Rexall Place: The Hurricanes won in Game 7 of the 2006 Cup Final 3-1 in Raleigh; six months later, the Oilers reversed the score in the rematch while playing in front of their fans. They got three pucks past Cam Ward, the Conn Smythe Trophy winner during Carolina's Cup run, with a goal by defenseman Jason Smith with one minute remaining in the second period putting them ahead to stay.