Winnipeg Secures Victory Over Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The youngest member of an inexperienced Winnipeg Jets defensive unit led the way to a big win.
Ville Heinola scored his first NHL goal and the Jets beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 on Tuesday night.
“It was a good moment for me,” the 18-year-old Heinola said. “It was exciting. Of course, I was dreaming of that.”
The Jets got their first win in Pittsburgh since returning to the NHL in 2011. The Penguins previously won 18 consecutive home games against the Jets-Atlanta Thrashers franchise dating to March 24, 2007. Pittsburgh’s last loss against Winnipeg at home came on Dec. 27, 2006.
Tucker Poolman scored his second NHL goal and Neal Pionk his second of the season as three defensemen scored for a young Jets blueline, which combined for 350 career NHL games.
“Those guys have worked really hard back there,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. “They’re learning every shift. I thought they were great.”
Nikolaj Ehlers scored his first of the season, while Patrik Laine and Mark Scheifele both had three assists for the Jets, who closed a season-opening, four-game road trip. Connor Hellebuyck made 36 saves in his second start of the season.
“I thought the guys in front of me played very hard,” Hellebuyck said. “They were blocking shots at the right time and controlling shots from the outside. It was a team win.”
Sidney Crosby scored his first of the season and Matt Murray stopped 17 shots for Pittsburgh, which routed Columbus 7-2 on Saturday.
“I don’t think the score (Tuesday) was an indication of how the game was played,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “I think the game was a lot closer than the score indicates.”
Jets defenseman Dmitry Kulikov was granted a personal leave of absence, while Josh Morrissey missed his second straight game after sustaining an upper body injury during warmups before Sunday’s loss at the New York Islanders.
The Jets played Tuesday without six defensemen from last season’s team, which lost to eventual Stanley Cup champion St. Louis in the first round of the playoffs. The list includes Kulikov and Morrissey, while Dustin Byfuglien remains away from the team on a personal leave. Winnipeg traded Jacob Trouba to the New York Rangers, while Tyler Myers and Ben Chiarot left in free agency.
Heinola, Poolman and Pionk provided not only defense but scoring.
“We all went through training camp together, so we all got to know each other pretty well,” Pionk said. “We created that bond in training camp and went from there.”
Pittsburgh had injury troubles of its own as Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bjugstad were recently placed on injured reserve after leaving Saturday’s win against Columbus with lower body injuries. Sullivan said both will be out long term. Patric Hornqvist also left Tuesday’s game with a lower-body injury.
HURRICANES 6, PANTHERS 3
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Ryan Dzingel scored two goals and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Florida Panthers for their fourth straight victory to begin the season, equaling the best start in franchise history.
Teuvo Teravainen and Jordan Staal each had a goal and an assist for Carolina, which scored four times in the first period and opened a 5-0 lead after 21¢ minutes. Dougie Hamilton also scored, and Sebastian Aho added an empty-net goal. James Reimer stopped 47 shots against the team that traded him last summer.
DUCKS 3, RED WINGS 1
DETROIT (AP) — Nick Ritchie scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period, and Anaheim beat Detroit.
The Ducks improved to 3-0, matching the best start in franchise history. Anaheim also won its first three in 2006-07 and last season.
OILERS 5, ISLANDERS 2
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — James Neal had his first career four-goal game and Edmonton beat New York.
Zack Kassian also scored as Edmonton won its first road game of the season and improved to 3-0 for the first time in 11 years. Connor McDavid had three assists, Leon Draisatl added two and Mikko Koskinen stopped 25 shots.
STARS 4, CAPITALS 3, OT
WASHINGTON (AP) — Tyler Seguin scored in overtime to give Dallas its first win of the season.
Seguin ended the Stars’ season-opening, three-game losing streak 43 seconds into overtime off a pass from linemate Alexander Radulov. Dallas avoided a four-game skid to open a season that would’ve matched a franchise worst.
PREDATORS 5, SHARKS 2
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Roman Josi scored two goals to lead Nashville past San Jose.
Kyle Turris, Filip Forsberg and Dante Fabbro also scored for the Predators, who have won two of three to start the season.
KINGS 4, FLAMES 3, OT
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Drew Doughty scored a power-play goal 50 seconds into overtime to give Los Angeles the victory over Calgary.
The Kings picked up their first win after falling 6-5 in their season opener to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.
Tyler Toffoli had a goal and an assist, with Sean Walker and Ilya Kovalchuk also scoring for Los Angeles. Jeff Campbell made 37 saves.
Matthew Tkachuk countered with two goals and an assist, and Noah Hanifin also scored for Calgary. David Rittich turned away 25 shots.