The Seattle Kraken fought back from the depths of a three-goal deficit, but fell 4-3 on Chandler Stephenson’s game-winning goal, which came just 35 seconds after Morgan Geekie tied the score. UFA pick-up Ryan Donato scored the first goal in franchise history 11:32 into the second period and former Florida Panthers forward Jared McCann notched the second Kraken goal 1:12 later. Max Pacioretty (2) and yet another former Panther Jonathan Marchessault scored the other goals for the Golden Knights.
The Pittsburgh Penguins handed the Tampa Bay Lightning a 6-2 defeat on home ice in the first NHL game of the 2021-22 season. This was a bit of weird one... With the Penguins leading 3-0 in the third, Jon Copper pulled Andrei Vasilevkiy early and the two teams combined for five goals in a 3:48 span, all with the Bolts net empty. Former Panthers center Brian Boyle, playing his first game since August 7, 2020 scored in his Penguins debut. Also scoring for Pittsburgh were Danton Heinen, Dominik Simon, Teddy Blueger, Evan Rodrigues and Bryan Rust. Anthony Cirelli and Alex Killorn lit the lamp for the lethargic-looking Lightning.
Learned something interesting this morning. The Penguins are a ridiculous 32-15-5 (or something along those lines) when they are missing both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin from the lineup. Food for thought in what looks like a much tougher opening-night match-up for the Panthers at FLA Live Arena than would might’ve thought.
Since it’s an off day for the Cats, just thought I’d point out that the Charlotte Checkers will open the season on the road this weekend. They will take on the Hershey Bears on Saturday night and face the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Sunday afternoon.