There are still 81 games to go, but early indications say it may be wise to stay out of the penalty box when facing the Nashville Predators this season.
P.K. Subban, Roman Josi and Mike Fisher all tallied with Nashville on the man advantage, as the Preds topped the Chicago Blackhawks by a 3-2 final on Friday night at Bridgestone Arena.
The Opening Night victory gives Nashville a 4-1-1 record in their last six openers and points in eight of their last nine.
"There is so much talent in this locker room," goaltender Pekka Rinne said. "Any given night, there's different guys who can step up and be the guy that night. It was an interesting start, pucks were bouncing and somehow found a way to our net, but we stuck with it. I thought especially the second goal was huge, and then Fish stepped in with the game winner. It was a great win, and we had to work for it until the end. It was a great team win, and what a great way to start a season, and for our fans, too."
Subban's debut marker came less than 10 minutes into the contest, as he fired home a shot from the center point and then capped it off with his signature celebration for good measure.
Video: CHI@NSH: Subban's power-play blast ties game at 1
Josi and Fisher joined the party, with all three shots coming from the top of the zone with traffic in front.
"That was awesome," center Ryan Johansen, who had three assists, said. "Josi and P.K. did a great job there at the point getting pucks through and created some opportunities for us… overall, special teams were great."
Rinne then shut the door in the third period as Chicago pushed down the stretch, with Nashville logging one final penalty kill to seal the victory.
"I thought he was the best player on the ice," Head Coach Peter Laviolette said of his goaltender.
Video: Johansen, Josi and Subban talk about their 3-2 win
The Preds should get another chance to work with the extra skater tomorrow night in Chicago when the two clubs get together at the United Center, a building that is never easy to find success in, and a perfect opportunity for Nashville to see exactly what they're made of in the early going.
"We'll take the next hour and feel good about ourselves, and then it's back to work," Johansen said. "There's 81 more."
Video: Predators ride special teams to 3-2 win in Nashville
Defenseman Anthony Bitetto left the game after a fight in the second period and did not return with an upper-body injury.
The Preds are now 4-1-1 in their last five openers and have at least one point in eight of their last nine home openers at Bridgestone Arena.
The Predators and Blackhawks are right back at it on Saturday in Chicago with puck drop set for 7:30 (CT) at United Center and TV coverage on FS-TN.