Game recaps and more in your NHL Canadian Corner.
MONTREAL GAZETTE/THE DETROIT NEWS: The Montreal Canadiens extended their franchise record season-opening winning streak to six games with a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. The Habs got power-play goals from Brendan Gallagher and Jeff Petry, while rookie Dylan Larkin tallied for the Wings.
EDMONTON JOURNAL/CALGARY SUN: Highly-touted rookie center Connor McDavid scored twice and set up another to lead the Edmonton Oilers to their first win of the season, downing the Calgary Flames by a score of 5-2. Flames coach Bob Hartley credited the Oilers on the win, saying they outplayed and outhustled his team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a big win for the Oilers, but I’ve been surprised by the poor play of the Flames. Despite their impressive wealth of blueline talent and good young forwards, they’re off to a sputtering start. Their ability to overcome scoring deficits, which was their strong suit last season, has abandoned them, likely because opponents are better prepared for them now.
THE TENNESSEAN/OTTAWA CITIZEN: James Neal scored the winner in a shootout, along with two in regulation, as the Nashville Predators edged the Ottawa Senators 4-3 in an entertaining back-and-forth game. Mike Hoffman scored twice and set up another in a losing cause for the Senators.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For a change, it was the Senators holding a wide margin in shots against, peppering Predators goalie Pekka Rinne with 41 whilst giving up 25.
TRIBLIVE.COM/TORONTO SUN: Two early first-period goals by Evgeni Malkin and Olli Maatta were all the Pittsburgh Penguins needed to down the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was held pointless for the fifth straight game, while the Maple Leafs played without center Tyler Bozak, who suffered a lower-body injury in the Leafs win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
WINNIPEG SUN: Jets winger Blake Wheeler is off to a hot start, with seven points in his first five games. He was also fortunate to avoid serious injury during Friday’s win against Calgary, as his right wrist was accidentally cut by the skate of Flames forward Sam Bennett, requiring a few stitches to close the wound.
THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks could put youngsters Bo Horvat, Jake Virtanen and Sven Baertschi on the same line.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks are supposedly rebuilding on the fly, so why not put these kids together for a few games and see what they can do? If they’re supposed to be the future of your franchise, then it only makes sense to give them an opportunity to play together.