BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Jonathan Drouin scored the lone shootout goal in rallying the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night in the season opener for both teams.
Phillip Danault forced overtime by scoring a short-handed goal on a wraparound with 11:59 left. Max Pacioretty also scored for Montreal. Carey Price stopped 43 shots through overtime and all three shootout attempts following an offseason in which he signed an eight-year, $84 million contract.
Jason Pominville scored twice in his first game back with Buffalo since being reacquired in a trade with Minnesota in June. Robin Lehner stopped 38 shots and the Sabres earned one point in Phil Housley’s debut as coach. Jack Eichel set up Pominville’s second goal with a perfect cross-ice feed two days after the 20-year-old franchise player signed an eight-year, $80 million extension.
Drouin settled the shootout by driving directly at Lehner. Faking to his left to catch Lehner leaning, Drouin went to his backhand and deposited the puck into the open right side.
Drouin also had an assist in his first game with Montreal since the Quebec-born player was acquired in an offseason trade with Tampa Bay.
BRUINS 4, PREDATORS 3
BOSTON (AP) – Jake DeBrusk had a goal and assist in his first NHL game, Charlie McAvoy added a goal and assist in his first regular-season appearance and Boston beat Nashville in the opener for both teams.
David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand also scored, and David Krejci had three assists. Anders Bjork added an assist in his first NHL start, and Tuukka Rask made 26 saves.
Viktor Arvidsson, Scott Hartnell and Filip Forsberg scored for Nashville.
AVALANCHE 4, RANGERS 2
NEW YORK (AP) – Semyon Varlamov stopped 37 shots, Tyson Barrie scored the tiebreaking goal late in the second period and Colorado beat New York in the teams’ opener.
Matt Duchene and Mikko Rantanen scored in the first period, and Gabriel Landeskog added an empty-netter for the Avalanche.
Mika Zibanejad scored two power-play goals late in the first period for the Rangers, and Henrik Lundqvist had 22 saves. The loss spoiled Kevin Shattenkirk’s debut with the Rangers after the prized free agent signed with his hometown team in the offseason.
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