Nikolai Zherdev and Marian Hossa gave their former teams glimpses of what they're missing.
Zherdev had a goal and two assists in his return to Columbus, leading the New York Rangers to a 3-1 victory over the Blue Jackets on Friday night.
"It was a good team win," Zherdev said. "I was just happy to score."
The third-leading scorer in Blue Jackets franchise history was traded after four up-and-down seasons along with Dan Fritsche for defensemen Fedor Tyutin and Christian Backman on July 2.
Zherdev said it was a relief to get the Columbus trip out of the way, adding: "Because tomorrow is the next game and a new game."
Hossa had two goals and an assist, and Henrik Zetterberg also scored twice to help the Detroit Red Wings beat the visiting Atlanta Thrashers 5-3.
"Playing your former team and knowing a lot of guys on the team, you play with a little more jump," he said. "Today, I felt good and we created a lot of chances. We played well until the end."
Hossa was dealt to Pittsburgh at last season's trade deadline and helped the Penguins to the Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to Detroit. The Red Wings then signed Hossa to a one-year $7.45 million free-agent contract.
And the Philadelphia Flyers finally won, too, becoming the last team to break into the victory column this season with a 6-3 win at New Jersey.
In the other NHL games Friday night, it was: Anaheim 4, Ottawa 3; Florida 4, San Jose 3; and Los Angeles 4, St. Louis 0.
Zherdev's third-period goal prompted a mixture of boos and cheers from a crowd of 14,724. That didn't upset him one bit.
"Yes, that's OK," Zherdev said, smiling.
Brandon Dubinsky redirected a pass off his right skate for a controversial goal that gave the Rangers the lead for good. Daniel Girardi also had a goal and an assist.
Rangers coach Tom Renney was knocked briefly unconscious after being hit on the head by a stick in the second period and did not return. He later did come out to talk about Zherdev.
"When I came to the rink earlier this afternoon he was here and ready," Renney said. "He was looking at the ice surface by himself in solitude. I thought he was really zooming in on this one."
With Columbus controlling the puck for much of the third period, Zherdev took a deflection off of Markus Naslund's pass to Chris Drury and lifted a shot high into the net for his third goal of the season and a 3-1 lead with 6:12 remaining.
It was Zherdev's first three-point game with the Rangers.
"It's not easy going back to the team that traded you," Drury said. "He seemed real focused. He just had a great night."
Jake Voracek had the only goal for the Blue Jackets.
At Detroit, Dan Cleary had a goal and Chris Osgood made 30 saves to help the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings get their third straight win.
Hossa gave Detroit a 2-1 lead with his first goal. He picked up a loose puck just inside the Atlanta blue line, cut in off the left wing, used a fake and a toe drag while cutting across the slot on defenseman Mathieu Schneider, a former Red Wing, and goalie Kari Lehtonen and put the puck into the empty net.
"It seemed every time he got the puck in our zone, he created something toward the goal," Atlanta's Ron Hainsey said about Hossa.
Hossa's third goal of the season made it 3-1, 5:29 into the second period on a one-timer from the bottom of the left circle after a give-and-go with defenseman Niklas Kronwall.
"We used to see that with him, so it's good to see him doing it for us," Zetterberg said. "He's had a lot of games where he's scored more than one goal. We're sure glad to have him with us."
The last time the two teams met was Jan. 15, and Hossa - playing for the Thrashers - had a hat trick in Atlanta's 5-1 win at Joe Louis Arena.
Jim Slater, Ron Hainsey and Brett Sterling scored for Atlanta and Lehtonen stopped 41 shots.
Mike Richards had a career-high four assists and Philadelphia snapped host New Jersey's three-game winning streak.
Scott Hartnell had two goals and Jeff Carter, Mike Knuble, Simon Gagne and Joffrey Lupul also scored for the Flyers (1-3-3). Martin Biron had 23 saves as Philadelphia ended a skid that tied its longest drought at the start of the season.
Ryan Getzlaf scored Anaheim's third second-period goal in his return to the lineup, helping the visiting Ducks get the victory.
Brian Sutherby, Todd Marchant and Sammy Pahlsson also scored for Anaheim, and Jonas Hiller stopped 27 shots in his second start of the season.
Cory Stillman had two goals and an assist, and Tomas Vokoun made 47 saves for host Florida.
Richard Zednik and Nathan Horton also scored, defenseman Keith Ballard had three assists and the Panthers won consecutive games for the first time this season.
Kyle Quincey and Patrick O'Sullivan scored 5:28 apart in the first period, and Jason LaBarbera stopped 15 shots to help visiting Los Angeles win for the third time in four games.
The Kings also got goals from Jarret Stoll and Dustin Brown, and LaBarbera earned his third career shutout.
The Blues lost goalie Manny Legace to a strained left hip flexor when he slipped on the carpet placed on the ice for Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who dropped the ceremonial first puck. Legace stopped 10 shots before departing after the first period.