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Thrashers say goodbye with win in opener

Posted: Friday, October 10, 2003

ATLANTA On a night of tributes to Dan Snyder, his former teammates gave him the best one a season-opening victory.

Chris Tamer scored with 2:24 left on a pass from Marc Savard as the Atlanta Thrashers capped an emotional night with a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.

Snyder died Sunday night from injuries sustained in a car wreck with All-Star teammate Dany Heatley, who was charged with vehicular homicide. The Thrashers Heatley included were scheduled to travel to Elmira, Canada, for Snyder's funeral on Friday.

The Thrashers started strong, with Ilya Kovalchuk giving them a 1-0 lead late in the first period with a power-play goal. Columbus tied it in the second period on a goal by Andrej Nedorost.

Flyers 2, Sabres 0

PHILADELPHIA Mark Recchi and Michal Handzus scored power-play goals, and Jeff Hackett was perfect in his Flyers debut as Philadelphia beat Buffalo.

Hackett stopped 17 shots for his 24th career shutout.

Recchi scored the first goal just 61 seconds into the third period. It came seven seconds into a tripping penalty on Buffalo's Alexei Zhitnik. Handzus made it 2-0 five minutes later with Zhitnik again in the penalty box.

Buffalo's Ryan Miller, playing just his 16th NHL game, finished with 24 saves.

Panthers 3, Hurricanes 1

SUNRISE, Fla. Kristian Huselius scored 7:37 into the third period to lift Florida over Carolina in the first game of the season for both teams.

The Panthers hadn't won their opener since beating Washington 4-3 in 1999.

Niklas Hagman scored the first goal for the Panthers, who recorded three of their league-low eight home victories last season against the Hurricanes. Viktor Kozlov added an empty-net goal with 49 seconds left.

Erik Cole had the lone goal for Carolina, which finished with the worst record in the NHL last season.

Predators 3, Mighty Ducks 1

NASHVILLE, Tenn. Andreas Johansson and Mark Eaton each scored in the second period and David Legwand added a goal and an assist as Nashville beat Anaheim.

The victory was the Predators' first since March 7, snapping a 15-game winless skid that concluded last season. It also marked only their second season-opening victory in six tries. The other was in 2000 when they beat Pittsburgh in Japan.

The Mighty Ducks, the defending Western Conference champs, have started this season with two straight losses, and they have managed only one goal in each.

Jordin Tootoo made history as the first person of Inuit descent to play in the NHL when he entered the game in the opening minute.

Red Wings 3, Kings 2

DETROIT Steve Yzerman's goal with 1.7 seconds left capped Detroit's come-from-behind season-opening victory against Los Angeles.

Yzerman, playing in his 21st season, scored from the right circle off a pass from newcomer Ray Whitney after starting the rush in Detroit's end.

Pavel Datsyuk tied it at 2 with 3:45 left when he redirected Nicklas Lidstrom's slap shot, about six minutes after Ziggy Palffy scored a go-ahead goal for the Kings with a shot that could have spoiled Dominik Hasek's return to the NHL.

The six-time Vezina Trophy winner made 21 saves in his comeback from a one-year retirement.

Los Angeles' Roman Cechmanek made 35 saves.

Capitals 6, Islanders 1

WASHINGTON Peter Bondra scored twice, and Jaromir Jagr had a goal and an assist as Washington opened its 30th season with a victory over New York.

Jagr was dominant when he was on the ice, showing promise that he might be worth his $11 million a year contract as he begins his third season in Washington. The Capitals were 10-1 last season when both Jagr and Bondra scored.

Washington also got goals from John Gruden, Mike Grier and Jeff Halpern.

The game made for a miserable debut for New York rookie coach Steve Sterling, whose team lost any momentum it had from a 7-0 preseason. Goaltender Garth Snow was pulled midway through the second period.

Senators 5, Canadiens 2

OTTAWA Jason Spezza and Petr Schastlivy scored power-play goals in the first period to lift Ottawa over Montreal Canadiens in each team's season opener.

Chris Neil, Chris Phillips and Daniel Alfredsson also scored for Ottawa, which had the NHL's second-ranked power play last season before falling one win short of the Stanley Cup finals.

Spezza, Alfredsson and Phillips each had two points for the Senators, and Patrick Lalime made 27 saves.



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