What an Opening Night to the 2016-17 NHL season! Let’s recap all the action from an unforgettable evening.
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The NHL made a bold decision when designing its 2016-17 schedule. On its Opening Night, the league only had four games, but all four were rivalry games. It paid off significantly because each of the four games were exciting. If Opening Night is a sign of things to come, the 2016-17 season will be one to remember.
Maple Leafs 4, Senators 5
This was a game defined by a historic debut and an impressive return. 2016 first overall pick Auston Matthews became the first rookie to score four goals in his debut. However, the Toronto Maple Leafs are still terrible defensively. On the other side of the ice, Kyle Turris scored two goals in his first game since February. Great to see him doing well after a soul crushing 2015-16 season defined by injuries.
Boy do these two teams loathe each other. Scottie Upshall, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Paul Stastny each put in a goal for the Blues. Vladimir Tarasenko added two. For the Blackhawks, Richard Panik and Ryan Hartman provided the scoring.
Flames 4, Oilers 7
Oilers win their first game at their new arena. Patrick Maroon, Zack Kassian, Connor McDavid, Jesse Puljujarvi, Jordan Eberle, and Tyler Pitlick provided the scoring for Edmonton. Adam Larsson picked up an assist in his Oilers debut while Kris Russell picked up two. For the Flames, former Senators forward Alex Chiasson and Troy Brouwer each got their first goal with Calgary. Michael Frolik and Dennis Wideman also scored.
Sharks 2, Kings 1
The main event of the evening didn’t disappoint. For the Kings, Tyler Toffoli scored their lone goal. Logan Couture not only scored a goal, but also drew the wrath of Jonathan Quick. Joe Thornton passed the great Doug Gilmour for 13th on the all-time assists list. Brent Burns got the game winning goal.
The biggest news of the day came out of Buffalo. Buffalo Sabres fans got a huge scare when Jack Eichel exited practice and couldn’t put any weight on his left leg. It turns out Eichel could be out for an extended period of time with a high ankle sprain. In other news, Sidney Crosby will not be playing on Thursday in the Pittsburgh Penguins season opener. Quick also left the Kings-Sharks game after the first period for an undisclosed reason.