Tuesday was a historic night for the NHL. Nolan Patrick and Alex DeBrincat each scored their first NHL goal, but even bigger than that was the Vegas Golden Knights playing in their first ever regular season home game.
What’s more, they won the contest 5-2 over Arizona, allowing the Golden Knights to improve to 3-0-0. Obviously, it’s still early in the campaign, so we can’t read too much into their hot start, but it’s still fair to say that they’ve exceeded expectations thus far. The generous nature of the 2017 expansion draft meant that Vegas wouldn’t be a stereotypical expansion team in terms of its quality, but nevertheless, not much was thought of the Golden Knights going into the season. Honestly, I do expect them to fade and fail to make the playoffs, but it will be interesting to see how far they can take this early run and if they can continue to defy the projections that I and others have for them.
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ST. LOUIS 3 NY RANGERS 1
Speaking of undefeated teams, this win boosted St. Louis’ record to 4-0-0. That’s impressive given the injury woes the Blues have had to deal with off the bat.
Jaden Schwartz found the back of the net and registered an assist. The Blues forward has two goals and seven points in four contests this season.
Brayden Schenn netted the game-winning goal. He’s also gotten off to a hot start with two goals and five points in four games.
Carter Hutton kicked out 32 of 33 shots. This was his first game of the campaign after he posted a 2.39 GAA and .913 save percentage in 30 contests in 2016-17.
At the other end of the ice, Henrik Lundqvist allowed two goals on 20 shots. Lundqvist has only won one of his first four starts, but he’s bounced back after a shaky start to the campaign. He allowed eight goals in his first two starts and just two goals over his last two games.
Mika Zibanejad netted the Rangers’ lone goal. He already has five markers after recording 14 goals in 56 games last season.
COLUMBUS 2 CAROLINA 1 (OT)
Sonny Milano netted both of Columbus’ goals last night. The 21-year-old rookie is off to a great start with four goals in three contests.
His efforts denied Scott Darling a victory. Darling ended up stopping 25 of 27 shots, making him 1-0-1 so far with Carolina.
Nick Foligno picked up an assist on Milano’s first goal. Foligno has recorded an assist in each of Columbus’ first three games.
Jeff Skinner netted Carolina’s only goal. It was his first marker in two games this season.
Sergei Bobrovsky saved 37 of 38 Hurricanes shots. Skinner didn’t find the back of the net until 18:35 of the third period, so Bobrovsky came tantalizingly close to opening the season with back-to-back shutouts.
CHICAGO 3 MONTREAL 1
Tomas Plekanec scored an unassisted goal just 1:15 minutes into the game, but that’s all the Canadiens could muster. It was his first goal and point in four games this season.
Montreal certainly was active though as Corey Crawford still had to make 41 saves. Crawford has now held the competition to a single goal in each of his first three contests.
At the other end of the ice, Carey Price turned aside 22 of 25 shots. It’s too early to worry about Price, but he does have a very uncharacteristic 3.30 GAA and .899 save percentage in four starts.
As mentioned at the top, 19-year-old DeBrincat netted his first NHL goal, but he also registered an assist on Tuesday. He’s up to three points in four games.
Brandon Saad scored the Blackhawks’ game-winning goal. Incredibly, he’s now accounted for the GWG in each of Chicago’s first three wins (Chicago has a 3-0-1 record).
NASHVILLE 6 PHILADELPHIA 5
As mentioned above, Patrick scored his first NHL goal on Tuesday. He has two points in four games this season.
Filip Forsberg led the charge for the Predators with two goals and an assist. That gives him four points in three games.
P.K. Subban assisted on three of Nashville’s six goals. He has four points so far this season.
Pekka Rinne kicked out 25 of 30 Flyers shots. Despite the win, he’s off to a rough start with a 4.17 GAA and .869 save percentage in two starts.
Brian Elliott fared even worse with six goals surrendered on 31 shots. He has a 3.67 GAA and .876 save percentage in three games.
DALLAS 4 DETROIT 2
With this victory, Ken Hitchcock is now tied with Al Arbour for third place on the all-time coaching wins list. Hitchcock has a career 782-476-88-111 record. This also served as his first victory with the Dallas Stars.
This was also Ben Bishop’s first career win with Dallas. He turned aside 23 of 25 shots last night.
Mattias Janmark scored the game-winning goal and registered an assist. He’s opened the campaign with two goals and three points in three games.
John Klingberg also had a goal and an assist for Dallas. The blueliner has two goals and four points in three contests this season.
Mike Green assisted on both of Detroit’s goals. He already has six points in just three games.
Petr Mrazek kicked out 29 of 32 Stars shots. He was making his first start of the 2017-18 campaign.
OTTAWA 3 VANCOUVER 2 (SO)
Amusingly, all of Ottawa’s opening three games have gone to a shootout, but this was the first one they managed to win.
Craig Anderson stopped 26 of 28 shots in regulation time. In the shootout he held Vancouver to a single goal over five rounds.
Jacob Markstrom saved 40 of 42 shots prior to the shootout. When it came to the skills competition, Ottawa beat him twice in five rounds.
Cody Ceci found the back of the net for Ottawa. It was his first goal and point in three games this season.
Ryan Dzingel accounted for Ottawa’s other non-shootout goal. Like Ceci, it was Dzingel’s first point of 2017-18.
Henrik Sedin assisted on both of Vancouver’s goals. His twin brother Daniel finished with one assist.
VEGAS 5 ARIZONA 2
By contrast Marc-Andre Fleury saved 31 of 33 Coyotes shots. He’s started his Vegas tenure with a 1.32 GAA and .963 save percentage in three games.
James Neal scored two goals, including the game winner on Tuesday. He netted 23 goals in 70 contests in 2016-17, which is disappointing by his standards, but he’s already found the back of the net five times this season.
Deryk Engelland also scored a goal for Vegas. It was his first point in three contests in 2017-18.
Tobias Rieder found the back of the net for the Coyotes. He has two goals and three points in three games.