Patric Hornqvist played the hero for the Florida Panthers by netting the tying goal with two seconds left in the third period and then scoring the shootout win in a 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, Tuesday.
The visitors had previously erased an initial two-point deficit under goals from Carter Verhaeghe and Aleksander Barkov.
After starting the season on the COVID-19 roster, Mikko Koivu was playing a very first game with the Blue Jackets. The former Minnesota Wild captain picked up an assist on a net from Kevin Stenlund.
Alexandre Texier and Cam Atkinson were the other players to beat Sergei Bobrovsky, who made 19 saves. At the other end of the ice, Joonas Korpisalo stopped 28 of 31 pucks aimed at him.
The Panthers have won their first three outings this season. This is the best start to the season in the history of the organization.
Eichel finally scores
In Buffalo, Jack Eichel scored his first goal of the season to make the difference in a Sabers 3-2 win over the New York Rangers.
The Sabers captain, who had eight points in seven games, hit the target on the power play. His teammates Dylan Cozens and Tobias Rieder also made the red light twinkle.
Linus Ullmark blocked 28 pucks, being foiled by Chris Kreider and K’Andre Miller. The latter also scored his very first goal in the National League.
Alexandar Georgiev pushed back 21 of the 24 shots fired towards him.
Vanecek in shape
In Washington, Justin Schultz hit the winning goal with just 27 seconds left in the third period to help the Capitals defeat the New York Islanders by a 3-2.
In the absence of Ilya Samsonov, whose name appears on the list of players unavailable due to COVID-19 – just like those of Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov -, Vitek Vanecek made 32 saves. Since the start of the season, he is 2-0-3.
John Carlson and Daniel Sprong also threaded the needle for the US Capitol training, while Noah Dobson and Mathew Barzal fought back. Semyon Varlamov has been put to the test 37 times.
Provorov demonstrates his talent against the Devils
In New Jersey, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov had three points and his team beat the Devils 5-3.
The Russian full-back kicked off his productive night at work by providing assists on both James van Riemsdyk’s goals and ended it by hitting the target in an abandoned cage.
Provorov has now amassed five points (2-3) in the Flyers’ first seven games in 2020-21.
Nolan Patrick and Joel Farabee also scored goals in this duel. The Devils’ retort came from the sticks of Michael McLeod, Travis Zajac and Pavel Zacha.
In the case of the former, it was his very first success on the Bettman circuit, playing his 39th career game there.
Three in a row for the Oursons
In Boston, the Bruins posted a third straight win, defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in overtime.
Boasting a two-on-zero in extra period, Craig Smith ended hostilities with his second goal of the season.
After 40 minutes of play, the Massachusetts team had forged a two-goal lead, thanks to the successes of Brad Marchand and Nick Ritchie.
The “Pens” however returned in the meeting in the last third. It was goals from Jason Zucker and Kasperi Kapanen that helped Pittsburgh force overtime.
In Kapanen’s case, it was the first time he had threaded the needle in the Penguins’ uniform. Pittsburgh acquired the Toronto Maple Leafs last August.
In front of the winners’ net, Tuukka Rask made 28 saves. His opposite, Tristan Jarry, has been tested 36 times.