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

The 2019-20 NHL season was unlike anything the sport has ever seen. The league was forced to put its season on hiatus following the COVID-19 pandemic and only returned in August.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have lost just four games throughout the playoffs 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 star Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman winning the Conn Smythe Trophy for MVP of the Stanley Cup Final.

On Wednesday, the league resumed play and offered a very entertaining five-game list.

The action began with a battle in Pennsylvania in which the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3. The Flyers got production from top to bottom on their roster, but winger Joel Farabee was the story in this one. Farabee recorded four points (one goal and three assists) and contributed to the team’s two power play goals.

One of the most impressive stories of the night turned out to be reigning Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning looked absolutely dominant against the Chicago Blackhawks as they came away with a 5-1 victory. Tampa Bay jumped all over Chicago in the opening period with goals from Ondrej Palat, Mathieu Joseph and Anthony Cirelli. It also didn’t hurt goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevskiy who was a brick wall in the net as he stopped 22 shots on the night.

The Toronto Maple Leafs were also in action as they faced the Montreal Canadiens and looked to leave behind last season’s playoff exit. Montreal was certainly impressive from the start and took a 3-1 lead in the second period. However, the Maple Leafs rebounded to score four of the game’s last five goals, including overtime winner Morgan Reilly in the 5-4 win. John Tavares and William Nylander each scored three points apiece to beat Toronto.

In another game north of the border, the Vancouver Canucks were looking to extend their 2020 playoff series after missing the playoffs in the previous four seasons. The Edmonton Oilers found themselves catching up with the Canucks throughout the night. Every time the Oilers tied the game, the Canucks scored and took the lead. Winger Brock Boeser scored two goals to clear the way for a Vancouver team who started their season with a 5-3 victory.

To top off the night, two of the Western Conference’s most talented teams battled as the Colorado Avalanche played host to the St. Louis Blues. The Avalanche featured their lethal attack early on with Andre Burakovsky scoring on a clock just five minutes into the game. However, the Blues responded with three straight goals from Oskar Sundqvist (two goals), Jordan Kyrou and Kyle Clifford and St. Louis took a 4-1 victory. Goalkeeper Jordan Binnington refused 26 shots to slow Colorado’s offensive offense.

Wednesday schedule

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