They were ready to party in Boston, seeing it was the Bruins' home opener and the locals needed something to soothe over the pain being felt by the Red Sox Nation. But Pittsburgh's backup goalie had other ideas. Sabourin stepped between the pipes for the first time during the Penguins' seventh game to stop 35 shots in 65 minutes and four of five attempts in the shootout as Pittsburgh beat Boston 2-1. The only goal Sabourin surrendered was when the Penguins were short-handed late in the second period.
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The veteran forward, who drew criticism for a lack of production when he wasn't injured during his first season in Colorado last year, scored a pair of goals to trigger the Avs' win in Los Angeles. Smyth tied the game 1-1 with an even-strength goal at 11:28 of the opening period. He broke in alone with a nifty move late in the second and roofed his second of the night with a skillful backhand shot at 16:32 that counted as the winner.
Surprised by this pick? Aside from five hits, the mouthy winger didn't show up on the score sheet during 13:55 of skating over 17 shifts. He even exited the locker room as fast as lightning and left the inquisitive New York metro media with inquiring minds. There was a good reason he was in a hurry, however. Avery treated the entire team to a New York City dinner he promised for a victory.
Honorable mention: Linesman Greg Devorski returned to the Florida-Montreal game a period after sustaining a lacerated ankle. … The Penguins took some heat for his signing, but Miroslav Satan has a team-high four goals. … First career goals go to Kings rookies Oscar Moller and Drew Doughty, whose confidence soared in the third period against the Avalanche. … Playing in his first regular-season game at home since last Oct. 27, Patrice Bergeron had seven shots in the first two periods. … Saku Koivu's third goal in as many games represented his 600th career point. … Evgeni Malkin scored Pittsburgh's decider in the shootout, but of the stats that actually count he has one goal and seven assists in his last three games.
Dishonorable mention: Even with their win Monday, the tradition-rich Canadiens are only 17-25-6-5 all-time against the 16-year-old Panthers. … Florida's Nathan Horton had a rough night in the faceoff circle, losing 14-of-19 draws. … Kings goalie Jason LaBarbera allowed four goals and stopped only 10 before getting pulled after 40 uninspired minutes. It's not much of a newsflash, but the Los Angeles goaltending situation is not good, which makes the fact the Kings are 23-for-23 on the penalty kill at the outset all the more amazing.