NHL Recaps: McDavid nets hat trick, Lafrenière scores in homecoming, Ovechkin gets goal 733, and more action

Saturday night is hockey night in Canada, and also across the NHL landscape. With 14 games and 28 teams in action, it was an exciting evening filled with thrills dashed with some special moments.

Let’s dive in and recap all the action for October 16, 2021.

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NHL Recaps: Oilers 5, Flames 2

Connor McDavid notched a hat trick, and Jesse Puljujarvi collected a goal and two assists to lead the host Edmonton Oilers to a 5-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Saturday.

Derek Ryan also scored in the win and goaltender Mike Smith made 45 saves for the Oilers, who have started the season with a pair of victories. Leon Draisaitl collected three assists.

Andrew Mangiapane and Elias Lindholm replied for the Flames, while goalie Jacob Markstrom stopped 28 shots in Calgary’s first game of the campaign. The Flames have lost 12 consecutive season-opening games.

McDavid, Draisaitl and Puljujarvi added to their notable career numbers against the Flames in their first Battle of Alberta showdown of the season, but it was Ryan who opened the scoring. Despite the Flames holding the early momentum, Ryan batted a rebound out of midair at the 13:08 mark.

“It rolled a little bit, but it was a nice pass from [Nurse] and I tried to get good wood on it,” McDavid said via NHL.com. “I’ve probably never scored a goal from there like that; a straight one-timer like that. I definitely worked at it [in the offseason], it was a nice pass from [Nurse] and I just tried to get it there.”

Penguins 5, Blackhawks 2: Mike Sullivan sets Penguins record

Drew O’Connor and Brock McGinn each had a goal and an assist as Pittsburgh built a four-goal lead in the first period and won its home opener over Chicago.

Teddy Blueger, Jason Zucker and Danton Heinen also scored for Pittsburgh. Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry made 18 saves, and Mike Sullivan (253-131-44) moved into first place in coaching wins in franchise history.

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, and Kirby Dach also scored for Chicago. The Blackhawks’ Marc-Andre Fleury, formerly a Penguins franchise goalie, gave up four goals on 10 shots before being pulled for Kevin Lankinen, who made 15 saves.

Pittsburgh’s Mike Sullivan (253-131-44) moved into first place in coaching wins in franchise history.

“I just give our guys credit,” Sullivan said on his milestone. “They’re playing hard. I think they’re playing, collectively, as a group. They’re trusting one another out there. The players, they’re playing the game hard. They’re executing.”

Sabres 2, Coyotes 1 (SO): Buffalo starts 2-0

Cody Eakin scored in regulation before Tage Thompson and Arttu Ruotsalainen scored in the shootout to lift host Buffalo over Arizona.

Thompson and Nick Schmaltz of Arizona made their shootout attempts in the first round, and Ruotsalainen buried his attempt to start the second before Tokarski stopped Phil Kessel’s try with his pads. Dustin Tokarski made 20 saves for Buffalo, which has won its first two games after finishing with the fewest points in the NHL last season.

Andrew Ladd scored, and Karel Vejmelka made 32 saves for Arizona.

Lightning 2, Capitals 1 (OT): Ovechkin scores goal 733

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Oct 16, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) reacts after scoring the game winning goal against the Washington Capitals during the overtime period at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Steven Stamkos rocketed home the game-winning goal with 15 seconds left in overtime to lift Tampa Bay to a victory over host Washington.

Already with an assist, Stamkos grabbed possession of a puck in the defensive end late in the extra session, raced in one-on-one against defenseman John Carlson and fired in his third tally for the Lightning’s second consecutive win. Mikhail Sergachev scored his first goal this season, and Erik Cernak recorded an assist.

High-scoring right winger Nikita Kucherov skated gingerly to the bench in the middle of the third period and did not play the rest of the game. Head coach Jon Cooper had no update on his status after the game.

Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed one goal on 33 shots to go to 2-1-0.

Alex Ovechkin scored the 733rd goal of his career, and Trevor van Riemsdyk posted an assist for Washington, which has split its two games (1-0-1).

Hurricanes 3, Predators 2: Svechnikov nets third goal of season

Andrei Svechnikov scored with six minutes remaining in the third period to break a tie and help Carolina to a victory over host Nashville.

Carolina goalie Frederik Andersen stopped 38 shots in his second victory of the season with his new team. Jesper Fast scored Carolina’s first goal and Teuvo Teravainen stretched the margin to two goals with 1:12 remaining with an empty-net goal. Brett Pesce notched two assists.

Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg scored for the Predators, who have started the season with consecutive home losses.

Bruins 3, Stars 1: Rookie wins home opener

Jake DeBrusk scored the go-ahead goal 4:43 into the third period, rookie goalie Jeremy Swayman made 27 saves and Boston beat visiting Dallas to win its season opener.

Brad Marchand added a penalty-shot goal and an empty-netter for Boston, which began its first season since 2006 without longtime goalie Tuukka Rask on the roster. Swayman became the first rookie goaltender to start a season opener for the Bruins since Blaine Lacher in 1995.

“When you don’t have many shots, it’s just something that you have to work on mentally,” Swayman said via NHL.com. “I think playing in between the whistles — just whistle to whistle — helps me a lot.”

Luke Glendening scored his first goal of the season for Dallas, which was coming off a 3-2 season-opening overtime win at the New York Rangers on Thursday. Braden Holtby stopped 37 shots for Dallas and fell to 18-5-0 lifetime against the Bruins.

Rangers 3, Canadiens 1: Lafrenière scores winner in homecoming

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Oct 16, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers forward Alexis Lafreniere (13) celebrates with teammates including forward Chris Kreider (20) after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the third period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Alexis Lafreniere scored the tiebreaking goal with 10:10 remaining in front of his family and friends as New York beat host Montreal.

Lafreniere, the No. 1 overall pick in 2020, played in his native Montreal for the first time and snapped a 1-1 tie in impressive fashion. Lafreniere, who turned 20 on Monday, grew up in the Montreal suburb of Saint-Eustache and scored his 13th career goal.

“Pretty good moment to score in Montreal,” a grinning Lafrenière said. “It was really special. The building was electric tonight. I got a couple of stitches from it, but it was worth it.”

Montreal’s Jonathan Drouin netted his second goal of the season, but couldn’t prevent New York winning a third straight game in Montreal for the first time since 1979. The Canadiens lost their third straight, the first time since 1995-96 Montreal has begun a season with three straight defeats, when they dropped their first five.

Maple Leafs 3, Senators 1: Leafs win rematch

Alexander Kerfoot had a goal and an assist, and Toronto defeated visiting Ottawa.

Wayne Simmonds and Michael Bunting also scored for the Maple Leafs, who won for the second time in three games to open the season. Jack Campbell made 20 saves for Toronto.

Josh Norris scored for the Senators, who defeated the Maple Leafs in their season opener on Thursday. Anton Forsberg stopped 26 shots for Ottawa.

Panthers 5, Islanders 1: Bennet scores hat trick

Sam Bennett notched his second career hat trick and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 29 shots, leading Florida past New York in Sunrise, Fla., for its second straight win to open the season.

“It was an amazing feeling,” Bennett said. “I’ve had a lot of fun here in Florida, and every game I have more fun. We’ve got a great team. It was a great game.”

Anthony Duclair and Aleksander Barkov also scored for the Panthers, and winger Jonathan Huberdeau had an assist and became the first player in franchise history to reach 500 points.

Oliver Wahlstrom scored New York’s goal. Ilya Sorokin made 24 saves for the Islanders, who have lost both of their games so far this season in their season-opening 13-game road trip.

Red Wings 3, Canucks 1: Detroit secures the win

Filip Zadina scored the go-ahead goal in the second period, Thomas Greiss made 40 saves, and host Detroit earned the victory.

Robby Fabbri and Sam Gagner also scored for the Red Wings. Conor Garland scored the lone goal for the Canucks, while Jaroslav Halak was credited with 18 saves.

Vancouver, which was dealt its first regulation loss, had a 41-21 advantage on shots on goal. The Canucks were 0-for-3 on the power play.

Blue Jackets 2, Kraken 1 (OT): Laine wins it

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Oct 16, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Patrik Laine (29) celebrates scoring the game winning goal with center Max Domi (16) in the game against the Seattle Kraken in the overtime period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Patrik Laine scored at 2:16 of overtime as host Columbus handed expansion Seattle its second defeat.

Laine took a pass from Zach Werenski and beat Seattle goaltender Philipp Grubauer with a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle. Eric Robinson also scored for Columbus and Elvis Merzlikins made 19 saves.

Brandon Tanev scored the lone Seattle goal and Grubauer stopped 23 of 25 shots. It was the third goal in the past two games for Tanev, who tallied twice Thursday in a 4-3 victory at Nashville, the first win in franchise history for the Kraken.

Wild 3, Kings 2: Kopitar stays hot in loss

Cam Talbot started for the second straight night and made 29 saves to help Minnesota knock off host Los Angeles. Talbot made 28 saves in a season-opening win at Anaheim the night before.

Frederick Gaudreau, Victor Rask and Ryan Hartman scored for the Wild, who rallied from a 1-0 second-period deficit for the second straight night.

Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist to give him seven points (four goals, three assists) in the Kings’ first two games. Viktor Arvidsson also scored, and Jonathan Quick made 27 saves for the Kings.

Blues 5, Avalanche 3: Perron nets two

David Perron scored twice, Justin Faulk had a goal and an assist, and St. Louis beat host Colorado.

Ryan O’Reilly and Brayden Schenn also scored, Jordan Kyrou had two assists and Jordan Binnington made 29 saves for the Blues, who were playing their season opener.

J.T. Compher had a goal and an assist, Andre Burakovsky and Tyson Jost also scored, and Darcy Kuemper stopped 23 shots for Colorado. Nazem Kadri had two assists for the Avalanche.

Sharks 4, Jets 3: Winnipeg struggles continue

Tomas Hertl and Rudolfs Balcers each scored in the third period as San Jose won its season opener, edging visiting Winnipeg.

Knotted at 2 to start the final frame, Hertl — who also had an assist — netted a power-play goal and Balcers scored at even strength 1:37 later to build a 4-2 lead at 5:02.

Jansen Harkins cut it to 4-3 at 13:28, but Winnipeg could not get the equalizer and lost in San Jose for the first time in five outings.

“We got slow in the middle of the game,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. “[In the beginning] I felt like we moved the puck easily.”

–Field Level Media