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Friday, 05 October 2007 20:58
NHL Headline News

 RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -Eric Staal scored two first-period goals and the Carolina Hurricanes spoiled the Pittsburgh Penguins' season opener with a 4-1 victory Friday night.
Cam Ward stopped 33 shots and took a shutout into the final minutes, Jeff Hamilton had a goal and two assists and Andrew Ladd also scored for the Hurricanes, who earned their first victory by regularly frustrating two of the Penguins' young stars.
Mark Recchi scored for Pittsburgh, which saw goalie Marc-Andre Fleury peppered for two periods and star Sidney Crosby neutralized in the 20-year-old's first game as Pittsburgh's captain.
The reigning league MVP and youngest player to wear the ``C'' in NHL history was held to one shot in 19:27 of ice time after entering with an average of one point per game in eight meetings with the Hurricanes. Fleury allowed goals on two of the first eight shots he faced, finishing with 22 saves before he was benched during the second intermission.
Blue Jackets 4, Ducks 0
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Rick Nash had two goals and a career-best four points and Pascal Leclaire stopped 28 shots to help Columbus beat road-weary Anaheim.
Sergei Fedorov and Ron Hainsey each added a power-play goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets, opening their first full season under coach Ken Hitchcock.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Ducks looked tired and disorganized for the first two periods. They opened the season by splitting two games with Los Angeles in London - England, not Ontario - last weekend. They flew to Detroit and lost in a shootout on Wednesday night before traveling on to Columbus. They complete the grueling road trip on Saturday night against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
It was Leclaire's second career shutout. He missed most of last year with leg and knee injuries.
The Blue Jackets received a standing ovation when they left the ice with a 2-0 lead after the first period. The Ducks didn't get their first shot on goal until more than 16 minutes had elapsed. Columbus had 14 shots before the Ducks got their first.
Islanders 6, Sabres 4
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Mike Comrie scored twice and had two assists in his Islanders debut, helping New York open with a victory for the first time since 2001 and second time in the past 12 seasons.
Ruslan Fedotenko had a goal and two assists, including the 100th of his career, and Bill Guerin added three assists, while Comrie's four-point game matched a career high. Chris Campoli and Josef Vasicek also scored for the Islanders.
Comrie, who finished last season with Ottawa, centered a newcomer line - Fedotenko played in Tampa Bay and Guerin in San Jose - that's finding instant chemistry, and might make Islanders fans quickly forget the team losing Ryan Smyth and Jason Blake to free agency last summer.
Defenseman Jaroslav Spacek had a goal and assist, while Thomas Vanek, Derek Roy and Drew Stafford also scored for the Sabres.
Capitals 3, Thrashers 1
ATLANTA (AP) - Michael Nylander and John Erskine scored two goals in a 2-minute span in the first period, and Viktor Kozlov added a goal in the third to lead Washington.
Brent Johnson stopped 28 shots for the Capitals, who outshot the Thrashers 40-29.
Atlanta was 5-1-2 against Washington while winning the Southeast Division last season, but the Thrashers' big scorers Ilya Kovalchuk and Marian Hossa couldn't break through in the opener.
The Thrashers' only goal was scored by rookie Bryan Little in his NHL debut.
Nicklas Backstrom made good on his much-anticipated debut for the Capitals. The 19-year-old Backstrom, Washington's 2006 first-round pick from Sweden, earned the Capitals' first assist of the season when he set up Nylander's power-play shot from the right circle midway through the opening period.
Stars 4, Bruins 1
DALLAS (AP) - Brenden Morrow scored off an assist from Mike Modano, Marty Turco allowed only a power-play goal and Dallas improved to 8-0-1 in its last nine home openers.
While Modano got career point No. 1,227, five shy of matching Phil Housley for the most by an American-born player, rookie defenseman Matt Niskanen assisted on the first two Dallas goals. Sergei Zubov had a goal and an assist.
The Stars, who started the season with a 4-3 loss at Colorado on Wednesday night, won their fifth straight home opener.
Boston played its season opener with Claude Julien, the third coach in a year, and Manny Fernandez, a former Stars backup who is the latest to enter the Bruins' revolving door of goaltenders the past few seasons.
Sharks 3, Canucks 1
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Jeremy Roenick scored twice - the 496th and 497th goals of his career - and Evgeni Nabokov had 22 saves to lead San Jose.
After losing a shootout in Edmonton the previous night and arriving late in Vancouver, the Sharks got off to a strong start to spoil the Canucks' season opener.
Joe Thornton opened the scoring 5:30 in by turning a 2-on-1 into a breakaway shot that trickled through Roberto Luongo.
Roenick, playing his 19th NHL season and first in San Jose, is now three goals away from becoming just the third American-born player to score 500 goals, and five goals shy of matching Joe Mullen (502) for second place behind leader Mike Modano (507) of the Dallas Stars.
Luongo made 28 saves for the Canucks, who had a couple of surprising new faces on their top two lines in the hopes of kick-starting an offense that struggled last season.
 

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