For the 2019-20 season, The Hockey Writers will be your go-to source for highlights from the previous night’s games. Last night, Oct. 2, was opening night for the NHL and there were four games across the league. Here are the five biggest highlights from the games.
Craig Anderson’s Save Against Nylander
With the Ottawa Senators up 1-0 early in the second period, Toronto Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews used a great outlet pass to spring William Nylander on a breakaway. With Nylander closing in on net, Senators goaltender Craig Anderson never bit on Nylander’s forehand. Instead, as Nylander pulled the puck to his backhand, Anderson tracked the puck and closed the five-hole, shutting down Nylander’s attempt to lift the puck. The Senators ultimately lost the game 5-3.
Related: Q&A with Craig Anderson
Auston Matthews Buries Marner’s No-Look Pass
Matthews continued his streak of dominant play in season-openers by scoring two more goals last night. His first goal occurred via a two-on-one with he and Nylander. While that was an exciting play, it was the second one that stood out. With the Maple Leafs up 3-2 and starting a two-minute power play, Mitch Marner sent a perfectly-placed no-look pass to Matthews who one-timed it over Anderson’s glove and into the back of the net.
Ovechkin Uses Wrister for First Goal of 2019-20
Down 2-0 to the St. Louis Blues, and with less than five minutes to go in the first period, Washington Capitals sniper Alex Ovechkin took a pass from defenseman John Carlson. Ovechkin faked a slap shot, then used a great toe drag around Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester before unleashing a wicked wrist shot past Jordan Binnington. The Capitals won the game 3-2 in overtime.
Related: 7 Cool Things About Alex Ovechkin
Sharks’ Turnover Leads to Reilly Smith Goal
The Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks picked up the rivalry that was cemented in the 2019 Playoffs when they faced off in each team’s season-opener. Less than five minutes into the first period, and with the Golden Knights up 1-0, the Sharks went back in their defensive zone to retrieve a puck. However, pressure from the Golden Knights’ William Karlsson forced Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic to send an errant pass to defense partner Dalton Prout. The puck ricocheted off the boards and side of the net where Karlsson picked it off and sent a quick pass to Reilly Smith, who buried the puck for a goal. The Golden Knights won the game 4-1.
Markstrom’s Save Robs Chiasson
With six minutes remaining in the first period, the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks were tied 1-1. The Oilers were in the midst of a power play and were cycling the puck in the offensive zone. Eventually the puck was moved behind the net and the Oilers’ Ryan Nugent-Hopkins gained possession. In the meantime, Alex Chiasson found room to the left of Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom. Nugent-Hopkins sent a quick pass across the slot to Chiasson who attempted to push it into the seemingly open net. Instead, Markstrom anticipated the play and pushed across the blue paint to rob Chiasson’s shot attempt from in close. The save kept the game at a tie, but ultimately the Oilers won 3-2.