NHL Recap for Oct. 3 2018
Home Team in Caps
TORONTO 3, Montreal 2 (OT)
WASHINGTON 7, Boston 0
VANCOUVER 5, Calgary 2
Anaheim 5, SAN JOSE 2
CAPITALS STRIKE EARLY AND OFTEN ON BANNER-RAISING NIGHT
After watching the franchise’s first Stanley Cup banner take its place in the rafters of Capital One Arena, Washington jumped to a 2-0 lead in the opening 1:47 of the first period – the fastest two goals by a defending Cup champion in their season-opening game in NHL history – en route to a 7-0 victory over the Bruins.
The Capitals set an NHL record for the largest shutout victory by a defending Stanley Cup champion in its season-opening contest. In fact, only two other teams in NHL history, regardless of stature, have won by at least seven goals in a season-opening shutout: MTL on Oct. 8, 1975 against LAK (9-0 W) and DET on Oct. 28, 1945 against BOS (7-0 W).
The seven-goal outing also placed Washington in select company among other defending champions.
T.J. Oshie (1-1—2) began the Capitals’ offensive outburst just 24 seconds into the contest, followed 1:23 later by Evgeny Kuznetsov (2-0—2), who led the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs with 12-20—32 in 24 GP. Washington’s two goals in the opening 1:47 of the game set the NHL record for fastest two goals by a defending Cup champion in their season opener, besting the previous mark established by the original Ottawa Senators (two goals in 3:30) against the Hamilton Tigers on Dec. 14, 1923.
Fresh off his seventh Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy in 2017-18, Alex Ovechkin (1-1—2) scored his 10th goal and 17th point in a season-opening game to move into a tie for the lead among active players in each category.
Additionally, Nicklas Backstrom (0-3—3) collected three assists to overtake Mike Green (12) and Joe Thornton (12) for the most by an active player in season-opening games. In doing so, he also eclipsed the 800-point milestone, becoming the 10th Swedish-born player in NHL history to reach the mark and the first skater from the 2006 NHL Draft Class to hit the milestone.
MATTHEWS, TAVARES LIFT MAPLE LEAFS
Auston Matthews (2-0—2) scored 1:01 into overtime and John Tavares, who signed as a free agent with the club on July 1, tallied in his Maple Leafs debut to lift Toronto to victory.
Matthews has now scored at least one goal in all three season-opening games of his career (also 4-0—4 in 2016-17; 1-2—3 in 2017-18). Only three players in NHL history have scored in four consecutive season-opening games to begin their career: Sergei Fedorov (1990-91 to 1993-94), Dave Andreychuk (1982-83 to 1985-86) and Dit Clapper (1927-28 to 1930-31).
In franchise history, Matthews is just the fifth Maple Leafs player to score at least seven goals in season opening games. The others: Babe Dye (9 goals in 5 GP), Darryl Sittler (8 goals in 12 GP), Mats Sundin (7 goals in 13 GP) and Charlie Conacher (7 goals in 8 GP).
Tavares, who famously announced signing with his home-province Maple Leafs by tweeting out a childhood photo of him wrapped in team logo bedding, became the first Ontario-born player to score in his Maple Leafs debut since Eric Lindros on Oct. 5, 2005 vs. OTT.
Tavares (2009) and Matthews (2016) became the first set of No. 1 picks in the NHL Draft to score in the same game for the Maple Leafs since Mats Sundin (1989) and Eric Lindros (1991) did so on Nov. 17, 2005 at BOS.
TEENAGERS MAKE THEIR MARK OUT WEST
After 22 teenagers made season-opening rosters across the NHL, a pair of nineteen-year-old rookies scored in their NHL debut to lead their respective team to victory.
In Vancouver, Elias Pettersson, who enters the NHL after an MVP season in the Swedish Hockey League, recorded 1-1—2 to help the Canucks extend the League’s longest active win streak in season openers to five contests (5-0-0 since 2014-15). Tampa Bay has the opportunity to match the streak with a win on Saturday.
Pettersson is the fourth player in Canucks history to collect multiple points in his NHL debut and second Vancouver skater in three seasons to score in his first career NHL game (also: Brock Boeser on March 25, 2017).
Ducks forward Max Comtois, who was selected in the second round (50th overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft, scored 49 seconds into the first period, marking the sixth-fastest goal in NHL history by a player making his League debut. QUICK CLICKS* Capitals’ Tom Wilson Suspended 20 Games for Illegal Check to the Head* Jack Eichel named Sabres captain
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