LOS ANGELES – Marian Hossa had left his previous NHL game on a stretcher.
On Saturday, the Blackhawks forward dismissed any concerns that he wasn’t completely recovered from a severe concussion by scoring two goals and adding an assist during the Hawks’ 5-2 season-opening victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
“I tried to keep it simple, especially in the beginning,” said Hossa, who was injured by a Raffi Torres hit in the playoffs against Phoenix in April. “Nothing too fancy. Keep it to short shifts (and) try to get into it. I hadn’t played in a long time … after the concussion. The timing isn’t there yet but it’s going to come with the games.”
After making a terrific pass to Patrick Kane with Chicago on a two-man advantage that Kane buried to give the Hawks an early lead, Hossa kept his team rolling when he flipped the puck toward a streaking Jonathan Toews and watched as it appeared to hit a King and elude goalie Jonathan Quick.
In the third, with the Hawks on their heels for the only time in the game after Jordan Nolan had trimmed the Kings’ deficit to 4-2, Hossa answered 15 seconds later with a wicked shot past Quick.
“It’s that first game, you wonder how he’s going to handle it,” Coach Joel Quenneville said. “We saw all week it looked like the pace to his game was as good as he can go. Whether he has production or not we know at the end of the day he’s positionally as sound a player as there is in the league.”
PENGUINS 3, FLYERS 1: Tyler Kennedy and James Neal scored to lead Pittsburgh past Philadelphia.
Claude Giroux scored for the Flyers.
Chris Kunitz added an empty-netter in the final seconds for the Penguins.
STARS 4, COYOTES 3: Jaromir Jagr scored two goals and assisted on the winner in his Dallas debut as the Stars won at home.
Jagr, the NHL’s active leader in goals, assists and points, had a hand in all four goals for Dallas.
SENATORS 4, JETS 1: Erik Karlsson had a goal and two assists and the Ottawa spoiled Winnipeg’s home opener.
Milan Michalek, Kyle Turris and Chris Neil, with the winner in the second period, scored Ottawa’s other goals.
Dustin Byfuglien scored for the Jets.
MAPLE LEAFS 2, CANADIENS 1: Nazem Kadri and Tyler Bozek scored power-play goals as Toronto beat its historic rival on the road.
DEVILS 2, ISLANDERS 1: David Clarkson’s goal at 8:17 of the third period lifted New Jersey to a win at Uniondale, N.Y.
Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur stopped 18 shots to increase his NHL wins record to 657.
LIGHTNING 6, CAPITALS 3: Martin St. Louis and Eric Brewer each scored two goals as host Tampa Bay beat Washington.
PANTHERS 5, HURRICANES 1: Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and two assists in his NHL debut, Brian Campbell scored twice in a first-period frenzy and Florida opened defense of its Southeast Division title with a convincing win over Carolina.
ISLANDERS: Coach Jack Capuano missed the season opener against the New Jersey Devils “due to medical reasons.”