NHL Recap October 2 2019
MATTHEWS SCORES TWICE IN WIN, TAVARES NAMED MAPLE LEAFS CAPTAIN
After John Tavares (0-1—1) was named the 25th captain in franchise history during player introductions, Auston Matthews scored twice – including the game-winning goal – as the Maple Leafs won the first ‘Battle of Ontario’ of 2019-20. Matthews has scored at least one goal in all four season-opening games of his NHL career (9-2—11).
Matthews’ nine career goals in season-opening games are two shy of the most among active players, trailing Alex Ovechkin (11-7—18 in 15 GP) and Zach Parise (10-6—16 in 13 GP). Matthews also tied Babe Dye (9-1—10 in 5 GP) for the most such goals in franchise history.
Matthews, who will be 22 for all of the 2019-20 season, now has 113-94—207 in 213 career regular-season games, six goals shy of tying Ted Kennedy (119-116—235 in 263 GP) for the most by a Toronto player at age 22 or younger.
CAPITALS RALLY FOR OVERTIME WIN OVER DEFENDING CHAMPIONS
After raising the first Stanley Cup banner in franchise history, the Blues jumped out to an early 2-0 lead but Alex Ovechkin sparked a Capitals comeback with his 659th career goal and set the stage for a Jakub Vrana overtime winner.
Ovechkin scored his 11th career goal in season-opening games to pass Zach Parise (10-6—16 in 13 GP) for the most among active players. He is now three such goals shy of matching Michel Goulet (14 G in 13 GP) and Dino Ciccarelli (14 G in 16 GP) for the most by any player in NHL history.
McDAVID SCORES LATE WINNER AS OILERS SNAP CANUCKS’ STREAK
Connor McDavid scored the go-ahead goal with 5:23 remaining in regulation as the Oilers snapped the Canucks’ win streak in season openers at five games. McDavid has factored on more than half of Edmonton’s goals in his five season-opening games since debuting in 2015-16 (56.3%; 9 of 16 goals), tallying 6-3—9, including three game winners.
McDavid scored his 28th career game-winning goal in the regular season, tied for the second-most in the NHL since skating in his first career contest on Oct. 8, 2015. His three game-winning goals in season openers are tied with Zach Parise (3 GWG in 13 GP) for the most among active players.
GLASS SCORES IN NHL DEBUT
Cody Glass, the Golden Knights’ first-ever selection in the NHL Draft (No. 6 in 2017), scored in his League debut. At 20 years, 184 days, he became the youngest player to score a goal for the club while also becoming the first player to appear in a regular-season contest with the franchise after being drafted by them (Erik Brannstrom was drafted by VGK and debuted with OTT in 2018-19).
NOTEWORTHY DEBUTS APLENTY ON SECOND DAY OF 2019-20 NHL SEASON
Several players are set to make their debuts with new teams on the second day of the 2019-20 NHL season, which features 16 clubs:
Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to make his regular-season debut with the Panthers when they visit the Lightning in the first of four 2019-20 meetings between the intrastate rivals – including a home-and-home set to begin the season. It marks the sixth mutual season-opening game between Florida and Tampa Bay (TBL: 4-1-0; FLA: 1-1-3).
Artemi Panarin will skate in his first regular-season game with the Rangers as they welcome the Jets to Madison Square Garden. Teammate Jacob Trouba also looks to make his New York debut – against his former team, with whom he played each of his first six NHL seasons (2013-14–2018-19).
Nashville’s Matt Duchene and Dallas’ Joe Pavelski are set to debut with their new Central Division clubs as the Predators and Stars host the Wild and Bruins, respectively. Colorado’s Nazem Kadri also will make his first appearance with a Central Division team as his new club hosts Calgary in a rematch of the 2019 First Round (a 4-1 series win for COL).
Montreal’s Cale Fleury, a third-round pick (No. 87) in the 2017 NHL Draft, is set to make his League debut against his brother Haydn, a defenseman for Carolina. It would mark the first time since April 3, 2017 that brothers squared off as opponents, with one making his League debut – Alexander Nylander debuted with Buffalo against William, a forward for Toronto.
Phil Kessel is expected to play in his first regular-season game in a Coyotes uniform when they visit the Ducks at Honda Center. It will mark his 775th consecutive regular-season game dating to Nov. 3, 2009, one shy of matching Craig Ramsay (776 GP; March 27, 1973 – Feb. 10, 1983) for the seventh-longest “Ironman” streak in NHL history.