The National Hockey League season is underway, meaning it’s time to race for the cup. It may seem early to be bringing up the Stanley Cup, but every point counts when getting the best standings in the playoffs. 

Opening day was on Wednesday, October 12th and consisted of six different games. 

Boston Bruins vs. Washington Capitals 

The Bruins took the trip to Washington and made their presence known as they took down the Capitals 5-2.

The offensive powerhouse, David Pastrnak had himself a night with one goal and three assists. David Krejci had one goal and two assists with his first night back as a Bruin as last season he played in the Czech Republic. Patrice Bergeron, Taylor Hall, and Hampus Lindholm also had goals of their own. Linus Ullmark shined in the net with 33 total saves and gave Jim Montgomery his first win as the Bruins new head coach. 

As for the Capitals, Anthony Mantha and Conor Sheary both scored goals, and goalie Darcy Kuemper, who just signed a five-year contract, had 25 saves in his debut. 

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Carolina Hurricanes

The Hurricanes opened their season at home with a 4-1 win against the Blue Jackets. 

The first 20 minutes went scoreless as Columbus had a strong defensive front preventing the Hurricanes from giving the crowd what they’ve been waiting to see. 

With only eleven seconds into the second, Blue Jackets Patrik Laine skated by the Hurricanes defense to give them their first (and only) goal of the night. Laine later left the game with an upper-body injury and did not return to the ice. 

The Hurricanes responded quickly, five minutes later, with a goal by Seth Jarvis. After killing two back-to-back penalties, Hurricanes Brady Skjei went for the go-ahead goal making the score 2-1. Martin Necas and Andrei Svechnikov also had goals, while in net was Frederik Anderson with 31 saves to secure their win. 

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Montreal Canadiens

It was an exciting game in Montreal at the Bell Center as the Canadiens brought home a 4-3 win against region rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In an almost scoreless first period, Mitch Marner took advantage of the Canadiens defense, not paying attention to the open man. Marner got the only goal of the first, which gave the Maple Leafs a 1-0 advantage. 

Coming back strong, the Canadiens right wing Cole Caufield sank one just 33 seconds into the second period to tie up the score. Aiming to regain their lead, Denis Malgin caught a rebound and put it in the back of the net. Exactly how he opened the period is how he closed it, with five minutes remaining in the period, Caufield found the net to tie the score again. 

Sean Monahan found himself with his first Canadien goal with three minutes remaining in regulation. Montreal’s lead lasted 40 seconds until William Nylander caught a bad turnover and turned it into a goal, tying the game. Only 19 seconds remained in regulation; Josh Anderson saved the Canadiens and sealed the win at home with his jaw dropping goal.  

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Colorado Avalanche

The Avalanche returned after a Stanley-Cup-winning season and raised their new banner as they entered the 2022-2023 season. 

The Avalanche dominated each period against the Blackhawks. Andrew Cogliano, being the first to score a goal, led the Avalanche to a 1-0 lead. Firing back just two minutes later to tie the score was Jonathan Toews. Slightly over a minute after the Toews’ goal was Valeri Nichushkin to help the Avalanche win the period and go into the middle box with a 2-1 lead. 

Avalanche Artturi Lehkonen scored a security goal in the second, extending their lead to 3-1. Lehkonen would later score his second unanswered goal of the night to send the Avalanche into the last period with a 4-1 lead. 

Going into the third the Blackhawks came out strong as Max Domi scored a goal and gave them some hope. Nichushkin would be sure to close it out with his second goal of the night and sealed the first of many wins for the Avalanche. 

Seattle Kraken vs. Anaheim Ducks 

In a back-and-forth fight between the Kraken and the Ducks, the Ducks found their way to victory in an overtime 5-4 win in Anaheim. 

Troy Terry was the star of the night with one assist, the first goal and the overtime goal, to seal Anaheim’s win. Ryan Strome had one goal and two assists; Trevor Zegras had one goal and one assist, and Frank Vatrano scored one goal. Goalie John Gibson had an immaculate 44 saves throughout the night. 

Jared McCann opened the night for the Kraken with his goal, and Andrew Burakovsky, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Matt Beniers all scored goals. Though, it wasn’t enough to surpass the energy coming from the Ducks bench and the Kraken went back to Seattle with a loss. 

Vancouver Canucks vs. Edmonton Oilers

The Canucks took on the Oilers in a game that seemed to go their way until the Oilers came back strong, took the lead, and sealed their 5-3 win.

Vancouver came out hot with two unanswered goals in the first by Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller. Then to open the second Andrei Kuzmenko scored a goal to extend their lead to 3-0. 

Then came the second half of the middle period, Leon Draisaitl started the streak of goals that would ultimately bring the Oilers home a win. Conor McDavid proved he is still the player to watch out for as he had a hat trick on the first night of the season. Darnell Nurse also had a goal, which contributed to the five unanswered goals by the Oilers. Goalie Jack Campbell made 33 saves and stepped it up in the second to help his team win on opening night.  

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