Canadiens execute plan, beat up Pens
PITTSBURGH — The Montreal Canadiens used a systematic approach to frustrate and shut down the Pittsburgh Penguins’ star-studded attack.
Paul Byron scored two goals and added an assist, leading the Canadiens to a 5-1 victory over the Penguins on Saturday.
“Our plan was just to skate and forecheck relentlessly,” Byron said. “When you give (the Penguins) space to skate, they’re going to make plays all night. But when you close lanes, I think that makes it hard for them.”
The Canadiens opened the season with three of four possible points in two road games against Toronto and Pittsburgh. Byron contributed Saturday with his first multigoal game since scoring a hat trick last December against Detroit.
Brendan Gallagher, Joel Armia and Charles Hudon also scored for the Canadiens, who snapped a five-game losing streak against Pittsburgh. It was Montreal’s first win against Pittsburgh since Al Montoya’s 36-save shutout Oct. 18, 2016.
Carey Price made 21 saves for his first win against Pittsburgh since Oct. 13, 2015. Price had plenty of help as the Canadiens blocked 22 shots, one more than he faced.
Riley Sheahan scored for Pittsburgh, which lamented its puck management during a wild season-opening 7-6 overtime win against Washington on Thursday.
■ Blackhawks 5, Blues 4, OT — At St. Louis, Jonathan Toews scored his third goal of the game 2:20 into overtime, and Chicago beat the Blues.
Toews tied it at 4 at 6:59 of the third period when he corralled the rebound of Alex DeBrincat’s slap shot and pushed it past goalie Jake Allen. Toews scored the winner on a breakaway to give the Blackhawks their second consecutive overtime victory.
■ Lightning 2, Panthers 1, SO —
At Tampa, Fla., J.T Miller and Nikita Kucherov scored in the shootout, and Tampa Bay beat Florida in the opener for both teams.
Florida goalie Roberto Luongo departed midway through the second period with a lower-body injury.
■ Ducks 1, Coyotes 0 — At Glendale, Ariz., John Gibson stopped 41 shots, rookie Max Comtois scored for the second straight game to open his NHL career, and Anaheim beat Arizona.
■ Stars 5, Jets 1 — At Dallas, Jamie Benn had two power-play goals, and Tyler Seguin scored another and had a goal at even strength in the Stars’ victory over Winnipeg.
■ Predators 4, Islanders 3 — At New York, Viktor Arvidsson scored twice, and Nashville spoiled New York’s home opener.
■ Avalanche 5, Flyers 2 — At Denver, Colin Wilson scored two goals, Semyon Varlamov had 35 saves, and Colorado beat Philadelphia.
■ Sabres 3, Rangers 1 — At Buffalo, N.Y., Conor Sheary scored two goals, Carter Hutton made 43 saves, and Buffalo earned its first victory of the season.
■ Devils 5, Oilers 2 — At Gothenburg, Sweden, Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac scored two goals each to lead New Jersey past Edmonton in an overseas opener for both teams.
■ Senators 5, Maple Leafs 3 —
At Toronto, Thomas Chabot had two goals and an assist, and Craig Anderson made 34 saves in Ottawa’s victory over Toronto.
■ Flames 7, Canucks 4 — At Calgary, Alberta, Elias Lindholm scored his second goal to give the Flames the lead the third period, and Calgary scored four goals overall in the final period to beat Vancouver.