CHICAGO – Brandon Saad, Johnny Oduya and Marian Hossa scored in the third period, and the Chicago Blackhawks kicked off their Stanley Cup title defense with a 6-4 victory over Mikhail Grabovsky and the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night.
Patrick Kane, Brent Seabrook and Brandon Bollig also scored for Chicago. Corey Crawford made 28 saves, including a couple of huge stops when the Blackhawks killed off a five-on-three power play.
Grabovsky had three goals and an assist in his first game since he signed with Washington in August. Alex Ovechkin had a goal and an assist but the Capitals still dropped their opener.
Grabovsky had consecutive power-play goals in the third, lifting Washington to a 3-2 lead with 14:44 left. But Saad finished a beautiful give-and-go with Michal Handzus and Oduya converted a long slap shot at 13:53 to put the Blackhawks ahead to stay.
Oduya caught a fortunate break on his 32nd birthday when his fluttering shot went in off the glove of goalie Braden Holtby on its way to the net.
Hossa finished the scoring when he was dragged down from behind as he headed to an empty net in the final seconds, prompting the officials to award him with an insurance goal.
MAPLE LEAFS 4, CANADIENS 3: Tyler Bozak scored a short-handed goal and Mason Raymond netted the winner in his first game with the Maple Leafs as Toronto spoiled Montreal’s home opener.
James van Riemsdyk and Dion Phaneuf also scored in a fight-filled game in which Montreal’s new enforcer George Parros was carried off on a stretcher following a bout. Toronto’s Colton Orr pulled Parros down during the fight, and the Canadien forward’s face hit the ice.
Lars Eller’s second goal of the game with 2:22 left brought the Canadiens within 4-3 but they couldn’t get even. Eller also set up a goal by Brendan Gallagher on the first night of the NHL regular season.
The Maple Leafs were on a two-man advantage when Van Riemsdyk partially fanned on a shot at the side of the net and the puck slipped between Carey Price’s pads 8:01 into the game.
Each team was down a man when Raphael Diaz sent a pass to Eller for a goal at 10:08. Toronto was caught on a three-on-ne when Montreal got the puck behind Carl Gunnarsson, and Eller fed Gallagher at 13:54.
Phaneuf tied it 8:36 into the second as he broke in on the left side for a wrist shot. It was the 19,000th goal in Leafs history, 6,169 games that date back to 1917.