Hornqvist has 2 points in his season debut as Pens beat Caps 3-2
WASHINGTON — Patric Hornqvist scored a power-play goal and assisted on another in his season debut to help the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Washington Capitals 3-2 on Wednesday night in their first meeting since the playoffs.
Hornqvist assisted on a goal by Kris Letang, the defenceman’s first since Feb. 4 after missing the end of last season and playoffs because of neck surgery. Hornqvist, who scored the Stanley Cup-clinching goal last spring despite a broken finger on his right hand, was playing for the first time since off-season surgery to repair it.
Conor Sheary scored the Penguins’ third goal as they went 3 for 6 on the power play. The Capitals’ six minor penalties were a season high and contributed to their first regulation loss.
Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading eighth goal of the season in the Capitals’ fourth game. Christian Djoos assisted on Ovechkin’s goal and scored in his NHL debut to become the third defenceman in franchise history to score in his debut after Steve Poapst and Hall of Famer Scott Stevens.
Matt Murray stopped 20 of the 22 shots he faced to pick up the victory. Braden Holtby made 33 saves for Washington. DEVILS 6, MAPLE LEAFS 3 TORONTO — Brian Gibbons had a rare 3-on-5 goal, Miles Wood and Pavel Zacha each scored twice and unbeaten New Jersey beat Toronto Wednesday to end the Maple Leafs’ perfect start.
Blake Coleman also scored, and Cory Schneider made 47 saves to help New Jersey open 3-0-0 for the first time since 2014-15.
Tied 2-2 after 20 minutes, New Jersey scored twice in the second period despite being outshot 17-12.
A key moment came late in the period with the Devils taking two minors on one play. Rather than Toronto taking advantage, New Jersey killed off the penalties and scored short-handed to make it 4-2.
Jake Gardiner was unable to keep the puck in at the New Jersey blue line and two Devils broke in. William Nylander’s backcheck swept the puck off Adam Henrique’s stick, and the puck went off goalie Frederik Andersen to Gibbons in front.
Auston Matthews, with his third of the season, cut it to 5-3 with 6:26 remaining and the Maple Leafs on a two-man advantage. James van Riemsdyk and Dominic Moore also scored for Toronto. The Maple Leafs dropped to 3-1-0.
Leafs coach Mike Babcock was unimpressed by a 50-shot barrage on Schneider, complaining instead about a lack of effort from his team.
“We didn’t have any snap, we didn’t have any juice, we didn’t win any battles,” he said in a pithy postgame news conference that lasted all of two minutes nine seconds.
“We talked quite a lot about this game coming up and how it was going to be,” he added. “And that’s exactly what I expected. But I expected us to compete and that didn’t happen.”