The New Jersey Devils started out strong on offense and finished strong on defense.
The Devils scored on their first three power NHL play opportunities and bottled up Minnesota in the third period for a 5-2 victory over the North Stars on Tuesday night."We spend a lot of time working on it (the power play), same as the penalty-killing," coach John Cunniff said. "We spend a lot of time drilling game situations, and that has got to be a help."
Kirk Muller scored the opening goal and added two assists and John MacLean and Bruce Driver also scored power-play goals as New Jersey took a 3-2 lead after two periods.
Meanwhile, goalie Chris Terreri faced 29 shots in the first two periods but only six in the third.
"I think we really played solid in the third period," Terreri said. "You couldn't ask for much more from a team. We really didn't give them a heck of a lot."
In other NHL gaast season, assisted on the first two goals and Cunniff said that "just having Peter Stastny has to be the biggest difference" on the power play.
"For starters, he wins the faceoffs, giving you contol of the puck. After that, he's the quarterback, he makes the plays. He's been doing that thoughout his career and he's one of the best ever at it."
"When Peter came last year, we were trying to rush it," Muller said. "We wanted to jump on the power play and get it going. Now we're able to talk it over and communicate. We're seeing what works and what doesn't."
First-period goals by Muller and MacLean gave the Devils a 2-0 lead. Minnesota tied it on goals by Bobby Smith and Dave Gagner. Driver's goal at 6:01 of the second period put New Jersey ahead for good. Brendan Shanahan and Dave Maley added third-period goals against Jon Casey.
"We wanted to get right back on our game in the third period," North Stars coach Bob Gainey said. "We had lots of shots and lots of opportunities in the second period, but we got off-track in the third. We never got an offense mounted until the game was out of reach."
Blues 4, Penguins 3
Geoff Courtnall tapped in a pass from Adam Oates for his second goal of the game with 5:18 to play. Brett Hull also had two goals and Oates had three assists for the Blues, who are 8-1-1 against the Penguins over the last four seasons.
The Penguins tied the score 3-3 on Joey Mullen's spinning backhander past goalie Curtis Joseph with a defender draped over him and 8:57 remaining. Hull's second goal during a two-man advantage with 10:51 to go broke a 2-2 tie. Penguins goalie Frank Pietrangelo stopped Cliff Ronning twice from the right side of the net during the power play, but Hull flipped in a feed from Oates.
Mullen and Bob Errey scored second-period goals to bring the Penguins back from a 2-0 deficit.
"It was a great feed by Adam and all I had to do was tap it in," Courtnall said of the game-winning goal. "The goalie went way out and I just put it in the opening."
Kings 6, Canucks 2
Los Angeles scored on five of its first 11 shots and spoiled Vancouver's home opener. Luc Robitaille, Brad Jones, Bob Kudelski, Todd Elik, Rob Blake and Jay Miller scored for the Kings, who outshot the Canucks 30-20 and chased Vancouver goalie Kirk McLean early in the second period.
Goaltender Daniel Berthiaume, in his first game with the Kings, lost his shutout bid in the third period when Igor Larionov and Trevor Linden scored for Vancouver after the Kings opened a 6-0 lead.
Robitaille started the rout just 71 seconds into the game with a shot from the right circle that caught McLean out of position. It was 2-0 when Jones scored after a poor clearance by Vancouver defenseman Jyrki Lumme.