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2021 NHL Opening Night: Blues, Maple Leafs, Canucks, Lightning, Flyers Collect Wins to Start Season



The 2019-20 NHL season was an unparalleled thing the sport has ever seen. The league was forced to pause its season in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and did not return until August.

The Tampa Bay Lightning lost just four games throughout the mail season en route to their second Stanley Cup title in franchise history in the NHL bubbles in Canada. Tampa Bay defeated the Dallas Stars in six games with Lightning star defender Victor Hedman winning the Conn Smythe trophy for the Stanley Cup Finals MVP.

On Wednesday, the league returned to play and it offered a very entertaining slate with five games.

The action started with a Pennsylvania game in which the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3. Flyers got production from up and down their list, but winger Joel Farabee was the story in this one. Farabee recorded four points (one goal and three assists) and assisted on the team̵

7;s two power play goals.

One of the most impressive stories of the night turned out to be defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning. Lightning looked absolutely dominant against the Chicago Blackhawks as they came away with a 5-1 win. Tampa Bay jumped all over Chicago during the opening period with goals from Ondrej Palat, Mathieu Joseph and Anthony Cirelli. It also did not hurt that goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevskiy was a wall in the net when he stopped 22 shots at night.

The Toronto Maple Leafs were also in action as they took on the Montreal Canadiens, seeking to put last season’s early post-season exit behind them. Montreal were certainly impressive out of the gate and jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the second period. However, the Maple Leafs came back and scored four of the game’s final five goals including Morgan Reilly’s overtime winner in the 5-4 victory. John Tavares and William Nylander each recorded three points per game. Tempo in Toronto.

In another matchup north of the border, the Vancouver Canucks looked to build their playoff run in 2020 after missing the record season in the previous four campaigns. The Edmonton Oilers found themselves playing catch-up against the Canucks all night. Each time the Oilers wanted to tie the game, the Canucks scored and regained the lead. Wing Brock Boeser recorded a couple of goals to lead a Vancouver team that began its season with a 5-3 victory.

To end the evening, two of the most talented teams in the Western Conference fought as the Colorado Avalanche hosted the St. Louis Blues. Avalanche showed their fatal offense early with Andre Burakovsky scoring on a one-hour just five minutes inside the game. However, the Blues responded with three consecutive goals from the likes of Oskar Sundqvist (two goals), Jordan Kyrou, and Kyle Clifford and St. Louis. Louis earned a 4-1 victory. Goalkeeper Jordan Binnington turned away 26 shots to slow down Colorado’s offensive offense.

Wednesday’s schedule




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