Mike Modano’s return to Dallas probably could have gone better. During the first period he not only received a standing ovation from the fans but also found his team down a goal. By the end of the second period, the Red Wings were down by four. Once again, probably could have gone better. Did we mention that Franzen guy also got hurt, oh right we did.
Brad Richards opened the scoring with a powerplay and assisted on two more en route to a 4-1 victory over Chris Osgood and the Wings. The recently arrested Mike Ribeiro added two assists himself, James Neal knocked in his first goal of the year and the captain Brenden Morrow notched his fourth goal of the year– tied for the League lead.
Kari Lehtonen is currently tied with Michal Neuvirth for the lead in wins as the Stars surprisingly look like a better team without their sentimental baggage. Dropping their legendary players like Modano, Marty Turco and Jere Lehtinen seems to have been done tactfully while letting their current veteran core shine.
Similar to Modano, the Philadelphia Flyers kept Simon Gagne off the box score. Unlike the previous game, Gagne’s team actually won thanks to a five point effort from the team’s top line. The combination of Steve Downie – Steven Stamkos – Martin St. Louis has been lethal for the second straight season, leading the big man in the middle to already lead the league in goals.
The Flyers put two goals by Dan Ellis — the first of the year by Nikolai Zherdev and the third by Danny Briere — but the free agent signing still turned aside 24 shots giving the Lightning the win.
Two goals by new celebrity Mike Fisher sealed the deal between the Ottawa Senators and Carolina Hurricanes. After being down by two entering the third period the Canes answered back with a goal from the fresh-off-the-IR Sergei Samsonov and another by their leader Eric Staal. Fisher would answer with his second goal of the night giving Brian Elliott his first win of the season. If you were wondering why Elliott got the win and Pascal Leclaire started, click here.
In Nashville, Anders Lindback received his second career win in only his second start. Patrick Hornqvist, Cal O’Reilly and Steve Sullivan all had multi-point games as the Predators were able to fend off a St. Louis Blues comeback as the their opponents clicked for two powerplay goals. Does that say more about the Preds’ PK or the Blues PP, we are guessing the latter.
The Minnesota Wild accomplished two things last night. First they earned their first victory of the season, defeating last year’s basement dwelling Edmonton Oilers. Second, they showed Nikolai Khabibulin is mortal by putting four goals past him. All of the Wild goals came on the powerplay, which notoriously has been their strongest asset. The top line of Antti Miettinen – Mikko Koivu – Andrew Brunette definitely looks rosterable in deeper formats.
Last but certainly not least, the Florida Panthers earned their first win with an impressive 3-0 shutout of the Calgary Flames. Miikka Kiprusoff certainly did not help his cause by letting in three goals on 18 shots, making Radek Dvorak look ten years younger with his two goals. Tomas Vokoun turned aside all 27 shots and has improved his totals in each of the last two games showing he is always a safe bet.