PITTSBURGH (AP) — Alex Pietrangelo beat Matt Murray 1:15 into overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 5-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams.
The Blues recovered after letting a two-goal, third-period lead slip away when Pietrangelo’s shot from the slot hit Murray and slipped under the crossbar for his second goal of the game.
Paul Stastny had a goal and an assist for the Blues, Brayden Schenn and Colton Parayko also scored, and Jake Allen finished with 34 saves.
Sidney Crosby and Conor Sheary scored 54 seconds apart in the third to tie it, but the Penguins couldn’t complete the comeback on a night the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions raised the franchise’s fifth Cup banner to the rafters at PPG Paints Arena. Justin Schultz and Olli Maatta also scored for the Penguins. Murray stopped 28 shots.
Just 115 days after finishing off a heated challenge from Nashville in the finals, the Penguins began the quest for the first three-peat in 35 years with one last nod to the franchise’s fifth championship.
The players received their commemorative bling during a private ceremony on Tuesday night, coming together to pose with their respective nine-carat rings that feature nearly 400 diamonds and come engraved with coach Mike Sullivan’s mantra “play the right way.” On Wednesday the party grew considerably larger, with the 485th consecutive home sellout roaring during an electric pregame ceremony that included Crosby skating to mid-ice with the Cup held aloft and the 2017 banner making its way to the rafters.
FLYERS 5, SHARKS 3
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Wayne Simmonds scored his second power-play goal to break a tie with 10:33 remaining and completed an opening-night hat trick with an empty-netter as Philadelphia beat San Jose.
Claude Giroux and Jordan Weal also scored to get the Flyers off to a good start after missing the playoffs last season. Jakub Voracek and Shayne Gostisbehere each had three assists for Philadelphia.
Brian Elliott made 32 saves in his first game with the Flyers after signing a $5.5 million, two-year contract this summer.
Kevin Labanc became the first San Jose player to score two goals in the opening period of the season but also was called for three minor penalties that all led to goals for the Flyers. Logan Couture scored for the Sharks, who had won seven straight openers.
Martin Jones made 26 saves in San Jose’s first game without Patrick Marleau since April 7, 2009. Marleau, the franchise’s career leading scorer, left as a free agent to sign with Toronto in July.
OILERS 3, FLAMES 0
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Connor McDavid scored a hat trick in the season opener, Cam Talbot made 26 saves and Edmonton blanked Calgary.
Mike Smith stopped 42 shots in his debut for the Flames, who fell to 0-7-1 in their last eight openers.
McDavid, the NHL MVP last season, began the scoring 11 minutes into the first period when he beat a helpless Smith after taking a pass from Leon Draisaitl. McDavid scored again eight minutes into the third on his third breakaway of the game. He put his third goal into an empty net on another setup from Draisaitl.
MAPLE LEAFS 7, JETS 2
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Patrick Marleau scored twice in his Maple Leafs debut and Toronto beat Winnipeg.
The 38-year-old Marleau signed with Toronto as a free agent after 19 seasons with the San Jose Sharks. He has 510 career goals.
Nazem Kadri, James van Riemsdyk and William Nylander scored in a three-minute span in the first period. Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner also scored, and Frederik Andersen made 35 saves.
Mark Scheifele ended Andersen’s shutout bid midway through the third period, and Mathieu Perreault also scored for Winnipeg.
New Jets goalie Steve Mason was pulled after Marleau’s second goal 36 seconds into the third period, having allowed five goals on 20 shots. Connor Hellebuyck stopped nine of 11 shots in relief.
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