NHL Recaps: Johnny Gaudreau and Jonathan Huuberdeau debut for new teams, plus all preseason action

johnny gaudreau
Sep 25, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Johnny Gaudreau (13) celebrates the assist on the goal during the second period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Recaps: Sunday, September 25, 2022

Johnny Gaudreau stunned the hockey world when he left the Calgary Flames for the Columbus Blue Jackets in July. By doing so, he took less money in order to be closer to home.

On Sunday, Jackets fans finally got to see their biggest free agent signing in ages and he didn’t disappoint by picking up three assists in the second game of a doubleheader.

“It’s going to take time to get used to playing with new players, but when you’re playing with two players like that, it comes easy,” Gaudreau said about Laine and Kent Johnson. “They’re skilled players, they’re smart players, and I thought we did a good job in the offensive zone. [We] could tighten up a little defensively, but for the most part I thought we played in the O-zone most of the game. We looked good together.”

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NHL Recaps: Preseason action for September 25

Game 1: Penguins 3 vs Blue Jackets 2 (OT)

The Penguins took the first game of the doubleheader on a Jason Zucker overtime goal. Jon Lizotte and Corey Andonovski were the other Pittsburgh scorers. Casey DeSmith and Filip Lindberg combined for 26 saves in the win.

Columbus got a goal from veteran James Neal, who is on a PTO looking to make the team. Nick Blankenburg notched the other tally. Pavel Cajan and Nolan Lalonde stopped 31 shots in the losing effort.

Game 2: Blue Jackets 5 vs Penguins 1

nhl recaps johnny gauddreau
Sep 25, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Johnny Gaudreau (13) warms up before the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Johnny Hockey led the Jackets to split the doubleheader with 3 assists. His first helper came on a Patrik Laine tally as the two are expected to play together this season. Forward Justin Danforth scored a goal and added two assists in the victory. Elvis Merzlikens stopped all 20 shots he faced in two periods of action.

Jordan Frasca recorded the only Penguins goal and Dustin Tokaraski stopped 27 of 32 shots going the distance in the loss.

Game 1: Flames 3 vs Canucks 2(OT)

The Canucks and Flames split squads and played a doubleheader on Sunday with Calgary winning both contests.

Michael Stone, who is on a PTO scored the OT winner in the first game on the power play. Dustin Wolf recorded 26 stops for the victory. Vancouver’s got goals from Vasily Podkolzin and Conor Garland. Spencer Martin Arturs Silovs combined for 42 saves in the loss.

Game 2: Flames 4 vs Canucks 0

nhl recaps jonathan huberdeau
Sep 25, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames center Jonathan Huberdeau (10) skates against Vancouver Canucks during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

In the second contest, Jonathan Huberdeau got the party started with a PP tally. The forward was part of the return for Matthew Tkachuk from the Florida Panthers this summer. He signed an 8 year extension upon his arrival.

“I got a little lucky on that goal, but it’s always fun to find the back of the net, even during pre-season,” Huberdeau said. “I want to be better. I want to be a really good player on this team and I think I just have to keep climbing and keep working hard.” 

Other Flames scorers were Cody Eakin, Blake Coleman, and Brett Sutter with Mikael Backlund picking up two assists. Oscar Dansk and Dan Vladar combined for the 19 save shutout. Vancouver’s Colin Delia and Michael Dipietro turned aside 27 in the loss.

Wild 3 vs Avalanche 2 (OT)

Kirill Kaprizov led the Wild to a win with a goal and an assist over the Avalanche, who split their squad to play two games. Ryan Hartman scored the OT tally assisted by rookie Marco Rossi who finished with two assists. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all 12 shots he faced with Jesper Wallstedt making 11 saves to hold on for a victory.

The Avs scorers were Calen Addison and Spencer Smallman. Justus Annunen went the distance in net stopping 33 of 36.

Avalanche 3 vs Golden Knights 1

Colorado was better in their second game led by Jonas Johansson (10 of 10) and new goalie Alexandar Georgiev (12-13). Alex Beaucage, J.T. Compher, and Bowen Byram were the goal scorers.

Vegas opened the scoring on a goal by Paul Cotter but couldn’t get anymore. Jiri Patera gave up two goals on 16 shots and Michael Hutchinson stopped all 13 shots sent his way before being pulled for an extra skater in a bid to tie.

NHL Recaps: Other Preseason Scores

Sabres 4 vs Capitals 3 (OT)

Vinnie Hinostroza scored 1:15 into the extra session to help the Sabres top the Caps. Jack Quinn also scored for Buffalo in the game with Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen going all the way for the win stopping 24 shots.

Ducks 3 vs Coyotes 2

Isac Lundestrom was the Ducks star with a hand in all three goals (1G -2A). Lukas Dostal played the whole game for the win stopping 24 of 26.

Oilers 4 vs Jets 0

Prized prospect Dylan Holloway recorded a goal in this game as Calvin Pickard and Stuart Skinner combined for the 29 save shutout. David Rittich went the distance for the Jets in the loss making 22 stops.

Sharks 3 vs Kings 2 (OT)

Veteran Logan Couture on assist from Erik Karlsson won it 3:33 into the extra session for San Jose. Timo Meier and Luke Kunin were the other scorers with Tomas Hertl notching two assists. Carl Grundstrom picked up a goal and an assist in the losing effort for Los Angeles.

Kaapo Kahkonen played the entirety of the game for the Sharks making 43 saves for the win.