Last night, Oct. 3, there were eight games across the league. While there were some nifty goals, it was the goaltenders who stole the show. Here are the five best highlights from last night’s slate.
Related: NHL’s Opening Night Highlights
Bobrovsky Shuts Down Palat
Early in the second period, and with the game tied 1-1, the Florida Panthers were pinned down in their own zone with the Tampa Bay Lightning on the forecheck. A turnover allowed the Lightning’s Anthony Cirelli to walk in on Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky while Cirelli’s teammate Ondrej Palat found open space to Bobrovsky’s left. Cirelli dished the puck to Palat, whose one-timer appeared destined for the back of the net. However, Bobrovsky pushed across the blue paint and robbed Palat with a glove save. Bobrovsky’s great play may have kept the game tied, but it ultimately didn’t matter as the Panthers lost 5-2.
Hutton Robs McCann’s Power Play Attempt
Midway through the third period and up 3-1, the Buffalo Sabres were in the process of killing off a Pittsburgh Penguins’ two-minute power play. With possession and in the offensive zone, the Penguins’ Kris Letang saucered a cross-ice pass through traffic to teammate James McCann. McCann took the pass perfectly and attempted to put the puck in the back of the seemingly wide-open net. Sabres goaltender Craig Hutton had other plans as he pushed across the goal mouth and blocker saved McCann’s shot. The save was key as the Sabres won the game 3-1.
Dubnyk Displays Acrobatics to Stop Granlund
Less than one minute into the second period and with the game still scoreless, the Nashville Predators gained possession at neutral ice and moved into the offensive zone. The Predators’ Matt Duchene and Mikael Granlund established a two-on-one with Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon the only player back. Duchene passed the puck to Granlund who shot the puck in-stride. Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk put on the acrobatics by making a nifty glove save as he slid across. That save kept the game scoreless, but the Predators won the game 5-2.
Rantanen’s Beautiful Backhand Goal
With less than four minutes remaining in the first period, the Calgary Flames and Colorado Avalanche were tied 1-1. As the Flames attempted to lift the puck out of their zone, Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog knocked the puck out of the air and reentered the Flames zone with teammate Mikko Rantanen on the opposite wing. Despite the Flames getting back and actually outnumbering the Avalanche, Landeskog sent a pass to Rantanen who, despite being forced out wide, ripped a backhander past Flames netminder David Rittich. That goal gave the Avs a 2-1 lead and they went on to win the game 5-3.
Cam Fowler Dekes and Scores
Late in the second period, the Anaheim Ducks and Arizona Coyotes were knotted 1-1. The Ducks had possession in the offensive zone and were cycling the puck. Eventually, the puck came out to defenseman Cam Fowler who skated in on goal. He was immediately pressured by a Coyote, but Fowler calmly deked around him and whipped a wrist shot past Coyotes netminder Darcy Kuemper. That goal proved to be the game-winner as the Ducks won 2-1.
My name is Kyle, and although I’m from Pennsylvania and grew up a Penguins fan, I cover the Predators here at The Hockey Writers. And while I would consider myself a Predators fan, I really enjoy watching all hockey and try to always take an objective approach to things. In addition to covering the Preds, I write hockey history and some statistical analysis pieces as well as book reviews.