Let’s take a look at the five “earlier” games that took place today. We’ll cover the Florida-Calgary contest tomorrow morning.
The Senators managed to win this one despite being shaken up by the injury of their starting goalie, Pascal Leclaire. Then again, Ottawa may secretly benefit from Leclaire’s departure, as I discussed here.
Mike “Mr. Underwood” Fisher scored two goals for Ottawa, including the game-winner on the power-play. Eric Staal scored one goal and assisted on returning forward Sergei Samsonov’s power-play tally and Cam Ward put up a great performance, but it wasn’t enough to keep Ottawa from earning their first win of the season.
Sure, it absolutely is early, but the Lightning look like they might justify some of the “most improved in hockey” hype they received this summer. They survived being out-shot 15-4 in the first period (leaving it tied 1-1) and Steve Stamkos scored yet again to prove that last season was far from a fluke.
Despite being out-shot 35-22, Anders Lindback and the Predators managed to beat another Central Division foe in regulation. Steve Sullivan is hot so far this season (four goals in only three games) while Cal O’Reilly put up an impressive three assists to help Nashville win this one.
What was supposed to be a stomach-turning night in Dallas turned into a feel-good evening. Stars fans cheered for returning hero Mike Modano despite his presence in a Red Wings jersey then cheered an impressive win for their team, as Brad Richards scored one goal and two assists while Mike Ribeiro and Brenden Morrow seem like they’ve found a time machine to the 2008-09 season. Sadly, Chris Osgood appears to be in his “regular season form,” allowing four goals on only 15 shots.
Niklas Backstrom is now 13-0 against the Oilers in Minnesota, as he stopped 24 out of 26 shots to help the Wild win. Mikko Koivu continued his strong start to the season with a dominant performance, scoring two goals and one assist - all on the man advantage. The Wild powerplay was the real star of the show, though, going 4-for-6 on the night.