It’s Opening Day across two continents in the National Hockey League today, and while most of the action is slated for later tonight, we did have three pretty significant games take place as a matinée teaser. In Los Angeles, the Kings lifted their first ever championship banner into the rafters at the Staples Center, in Pittsburgh Sidney Crosby took the ice claiming to be 100 percent healthy for the first time in over a year and up in Canada, the Senators and Jets dropped the puck for the first game of the season to take place north of the border.
It was championship Saturday in Los Angeles, as the Kings lifted their Stanley Cup banner into the rafters. While the Kings were crowned, the Chicago Blackhawks came in and spoiled the fun. Chicago jumped out to a fierce 4-0 lead in the second period before the Kings could even get on the board, as Rob Scuderi scored for Los Angeles 18:37 into the period.
Los Angeles scored once more in the third period on a Jordan Nolan goal at the 9:20 mark but Chicago canceled it out with Marian Hossa’s second goal of the game not too long after. The Stanley Cup hangover was very much present at the Staples Center on Saturday, and as this lockout shortened season will soon prove, you can’t afford many slip ups if you want to make a run at a Cup.
Last season when these two teams met, it was bloody, it was physical and it resulted in the rivalry between the two Pennsylvania teams to go even deeper than it was before. Tyler Kennedy and James Neal scored less than three minutes apart to start the game off, and Pittsburgh held on to the solid 2-0 lead until the second period.
It was right out of the gate in the first period that we started to see the game get a little chippy, but not to the extent some may had expected. Less than three minutes into the game, Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn was tagged for interfering with Sidney Crosby. The Pens responded by drawing a slashing penalty and two interference calls before the period was done. Two of the three penalties saw the Pens target Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmons was targeted in both the first and third periods. Giroux brushed off the heat and brought the Flyers within one in the second period but Philly couldn’t make up the difference in the third and dropped the first of five games this season against the Pens.
Jets fans were hoping for a better inaugural season than what they got, and their second season isn’t off to a much better start. Ottawa is playing this season with the feeling that it will be veteran winger Daniel Alfredsson’s last in the NHL. If they want to give him the Stanley Cup that’s eluded him his entire career, they started the 48 games season off on the right foot. Dustin Byfuglien scored a Power Play goal in the first that gave the Jets an early 1-0 lead but it was all capital punishment from the Senators after that.
Milan Michalek scored before the first period was over and Ottawa added a second in the second from Chris Neil, and two more goals in the third period from Erik Karlsson (on a Power Play) and Kyle Turris. The window is closing for Alfredsson, and while it may not be his last season in the NHL, he’s better off getting the Cup sooner rather than up against a career deadline.
|TEAMS||TIME (ET)||AWAY TV||HOME TV||NATIONAL TV|
|Colorado at Minnesota||9:00 PM||ALTITUDE SPORTS||FXNO|
|NY Rangers at Boston||7:00 PM||MSG||NHLN|
|Toronto at Montreal||7:00 PM||CBC|
|New Jersey at NY Islanders||7:00 PM||MSGP||MSGP|
|Washington at Tampa Bay||7:00 PM||CSNB||SUN|
|Carolina at Florida||7:30 PM||FXSO||FSNFL|
|Detroit at St. Louis||8:00 PM||FXDT||FXMW|
|Columbus at Nashville||8:00 PM||FXOH||FSS-M|
|Phoenix at Dallas||8:00 PM||FXAZ||FXSW|
|Anaheim at Vancouver||10:00 PM||CBC|