Brett Hull, Chris Chelios and Dale Hawerchuck made their respective clubs' management look very good on the opening night of the NHL season.
St. Louis Blues GM Ron Caron opened the vaults to sign Hull to a five-year deal at $1.2 million per season, and Hull responded by scoring two goals to lead the Blues to a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota North Stars.Chicago Blackhawk GM Mike Keenan sent high-scoring center Denis Savard to Montreal in exchange for defenseman Chelios, and Chelios responded with a key goal and two assists in Chicago's 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers.
Buffalo GM Gerry Meehan swapped three players, including his best defenseman, for Winnipeg center Hawerchuk, who paid an immediate dividend by scoring a goal in a 3-3 tie with the Canadiens.
Hull's first came at 16:23 of the second period and broke a 1-1 tie. His second gave St. Louis a 3-1 lead at 11:40 of the third period when he intercepted a pass from Minnesota's Dave Gagne and buried a 35-footer. At Chicago, Chelios responded to the hero's welcome the crowd gave him by dominating against the Rangers, setting up two goals by Dirk Graham before scoring the winning goal 19 seconds into the final period. "I guess I got the hometown bounces," said the Chicago native.
At Buffalo, Hawerchuk gave the Sabres a 3-2 lead at 6:32 of the third period when he burst past the defense and beat Patrick Roy with a wrist shot, but Stephane Richer pulled Montreal into a 3-3 tie with 3:43 left in regulation. "I was happy to get the goal. It took the pressure off," admitted Hawerchuk.
Flames 3, Canucks 2, OT
At Calgary, rookie Tim Sweeney, who played for the Salt Lake Golden Eagles last season, scored his first NHL goal at 1:07 of overtime after Rob Murphy had forced the overtime with a goal at 12:15 of the third. Al MacInnis and Sergei Makarov also scored for Calgary.
Devils 3, Red Wings 3, OT
At New Jersey, Brendan Shanahan scored the tying goal with 15 seconds remaining in the third period, and Claude Lemieux scored the other two goals in his first game with the Devils.
Boston 4, Philadelphia 1
At Boston, Dave Poulin and Cam Neely scored first-period goals, Craig Janney added a third-period goal and Ray Bourque scored into an empty net with :57 left.
Kings 4, Islanders 1
At Inglewood, Calif., Wayne Gretzky opened defense of his scoring title with two power-play goals and assisted on a goal by Tony Granato. Los Angeles goalie Kelly Hrudey inadvertently knocked in the lone New York goal, credited to Derek King.
Whalers 3, Nordiques 3, OT
At Hartford, Todd Krygier scored on a two-man advantage at 11:13 of the second period to lift the Whalers. Kevin Dineen and Pat Verbeek also scored for them.
Jets 7, Maple Leafs 1
At Winnipeg, defenseman Dave Ellett scored twice and assisted on scores by Moe Mantha and Tomas Steen. Paul McDermid, Dave McLlwain and Kris Draper also scored for the Jets, and Dave Reid scored the lone Toronto goal.