Sun Oct 10 01:28am EDT
Only four times in NHL history has a rookie scored a hat trick in his first game. Stepan became the latest to join the group as his three markers helped spoil the Buffalo Sabres' Northeast Division banner raising party as the Rangers were victorious 6-3. Brandon Dubinsky(notes) added a pair of goals in the win. Stepan joins Fabian Brunnstrom(notes) (2008), Real Cloutier (1979) and Alex Smart (1943) in the debut hat-trick club.
On a night when their longtime rivals were celebrating the raising of last season's Stanley Cup banner, the Red Wings ruined the fun with a 3-2 win at United Center, putting the defending champions at 0-2-0. Filppula opened the scoring midway through the first period and added his second of the night, the game winner, on the power play with 14 minutes to go in the third period. Chris Osgood(notes) made 26 saves and Todd Bertuzzi(notes) added two points in the win.
No. 3 Star: Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning
Last season's co-Rocket Richard Trophy winner started the 2010-11 season where he left off in April by scoring twice in Tampa's 5-3 win over Atlanta. Stamkos added an assist as the Lightning helped give new head coach Guy Boucher his first win behind the bench.
Honorable Mention: Two of Buffalo's three goals came off the stick of defenseman Jordan Leopold(notes) making his Sabres debut. He also added an assist for a three-point night ... Radim Vrbata(notes) scored twice and Ilya Bryzgalov(notes) made 40 saves as the Phoenix Coyotes opened their season in Prague with a 5-2 win over the Boston Bruins. Nathan Horton(notes) scored twice in his debut for Boston ... The Toronto Maple Leafs undefeated after two games? It's true. Kris Versteeg(notes), Phil Kessel(notes) and Clarke MacArthur(notes) each contributed a goal and assist in a 5-1 thrashing of the Ottawa Senators. It took Toronto until their 14th game last season to notch their second win ... With two goals in Dallas' 5-4 shootout win over the Islanders and three on the season, Brendan Morrow improved his Rocket Richard Trophy chances ... Mike Cammalleri continued to enjoy playing in Pittsburgh by scoring twice and Carey Price(notes) made 36 saves for his first win of the season as the Canadiens defeated the Penguins 3-2 ... Jaroslav Halak(notes) was victorious in his debut for the St. Louis Blues making 29 stops and watching Carlo Colaiacovo's(notes) overtime winner earn a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers ... Before the game, the Blues unveiled a statue outside of Scottrade Center of Hall of Famer Brett Hull ... John Carlson(notes) and Alex Ovechkin(notes) each had three-point nights in Washington's 7-2 blowout of the New Jersey Devils. Ovechkin has scored at least once in the six home openers in his career, including tonight's penalty shot ... On a night they celebrated their 40th birthday and officially named Henrik Sedin(notes) captain, the Canucks couldn't stop Jack Johnson(notes) in the shootout as the Los Angeles Kings edged Vancouver 2-1.
More photos over at InGoal Magazine.
Dishonorable Mention: Defending Vezina Trophy winner Ryan Miller(notes) kicked the season off poorly allowing five goals on 27 shots ... Tyler Myers(notes) (-3) and Thomas Vanek(notes) (-4) finished at the bottom of the plus-minus standings for the Sabres ... Two games, 48 shots faced and nine goals allowed. That's a rough start to the year for Martin Brodeur(notes) ... If you're a Devils or Capitals fan, you probably don't want to see two of the key pieces of your offense tossing fists in an already out-of-hand game ... Marc-Andre Fleury(notes) was 2:12 away from notching the first win of the season for Pittsburgh, but goals from Mike Cammalleri and Scott Gomez(notes) spoiled that opportunity ... The Penguins' power play continued its struggles going 0-for-7.