The four teams that did not see action on Opening night played their openers on Sunday, as part of a six game slate of NHL action. Here is a quick recap of the games:
- Thomas Vanek had 2 goals and 3 assists to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in their debut. Ilya Bryzgalov goes to 0-2 as the Flyers are showing defensive holes to start the season, while Ryan Miller was solid making 27 saves in the Buffalo net.
- The Calgary Flames opened their season by scoring first, but the San Jose Sharks scored four unanswered to spoil the Flames’ debut. Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski and Dan Boyle all had multiple point nights to help the Sharks win their season opener.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins showed they are for real by defeating the second big Atlantic Division rival in as many days as they chased reigning Vezina Trophy winner Henrik Lundqvist from the net in a 6-3 win over the New York Rangers. Evgeni Malkin led the way with three assists while Sidney Crosby had his first point of the season. The Rangers and their much celebrated defensive system have allowed 9 goals in two games, albeit to quality opponents, in starting 0-2.
- Zach Parise scored the lone goal for the Minnesota Wild, but Josh Harding made it stand up in a 1-0 shutout victory over the Dallas Stars. Apparently the Stars will need to manage the minutes of Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney in back to back games for the over 40 new Stars to be effective.
- Roberto Luongo got the “planned” start in the Vancouver Canucks net, a day after Cory Schneider was chased against the Anaheim Ducks. However, Luongo got a point in a shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers. Ales Hemsky, a forgotten man when the Oilers young guns are discussed, had the tying goal and also score the shootout clincher. Jordan Eberle had the other Edmonton goal.
- Ray Emery picked up the win despite allowing 4 goals as the Chicago Blackhawks scored 6 en route to victory against the Phoenix Coyotes. Marian Hossa continued his stellar play, scoring a pair while David Bolland added 2 goals and an assist in the win. Mike Smith has allowed 10 goals in 2 games for the Coyotes, who relied so heavily on Smith last season in winning the Pacific Division.
That concludes the roundup of NHL action from Sunday. There are 7 games on Monday, including a couple of afternoon encounters as the Americans get a holiday to swear in a president who has been in office for four years already. Must be nice!