* Tampa Bay, the defending champions, raced to a five-goal lead after revealing its 2020 Stanley Cup banner en route to a win over Chicago.
* Joel Farabee had a career-high four points and the Flyers tandem of Oskar Lindblom and Nolan Patrick each scored their first goals since 2019 as Philadelphia won the first game of the 2020-21 NHL season.
* The Scotia North Division debuted Wednesday, with the four Canadian clubs in action combining for 17 goals across two games.
LIGHTNING STRIKE EARLY AFTER BANNER REVEAL, EXTEND STREAK
After unveiling their 2020 Stanley Cup banner at AMALIE Arena, Tampa Bay scored five consecutive goals – including three in the first period – to defeat Chicago and improve to 7-0-0 in seven season-opening contests dating to 2014-15.
* The Lightning’s seven straight victories in season openers is the longest active such run in the NHL. There have been only eight other instances in League history in which a team recorded wins in seven-plus season-opening games, detailed in the PDF attached here.
* The Lightning have owned a regular-season points percentage of .500 or higher for 264 consecutive games dating to Feb. 7, 2017 when they blanked the Kings to improve to 24-24-6 (54 points) through 54 contests during that campaign. That’s the longest active such run in the NHL – the lengthiest in League history is 505 games, achieved by Montreal from Dec. 30, 1967 to entering play Oct. 12, 1974.
FARABEE, LINDBLOM HELP FLYERS EXTEND WIN STREAK IN SEASON OPENERS
Joel Farabee (1-3—4) recorded a career-high four points and Oskar Lindblom was credited with his first goal since Nov. 30, 2019 as the Flyers opened their campaign with a win and took the first of eight ‘Battle of Pennsylvania’ installments slated for 2020-21.
* Farabee became the second player in franchise history with four points in a season-opening game as Philadelphia improved to 5-0-1 in its last six season-opening games including five straight victories, the second-longest such active win streak in the NHL behind Tampa Bay.
* Lindblom, who made his return to the Flyers lineup during the 2020 postseason (2 GP), skated in his first regular-season game since Dec. 7, 2019, which was just days before he was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma. Lindblom recently announced that he is now free of the rare form of bone cancer.
* Nolan Patrick, who skated his first game since April 2, 2019, also had a noteworthy return to the Philadelphia lineup with a goal in the final seconds of the first period. Patrick, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, missed the entire 2019-20 season due to injury.
SCOTIA NORTH DIVISION OPENS WITH PAIR OF THRILLING GAMES
The NHL’s first-ever All-Canadian division made its debut Wednesday with the Maple Leafs and Canucks each earning thrilling wins over domestic rivals:
* William Nylander (2-1—3) accounted for one of his team’s three tying goals as Toronto rallied from deficits of 3-1 and 4-3 to force overtime, where Morgan Rielly scored to give the Maple Leafs a victory over the Canadiens in their first of 10 matchups slated for the 2020-21 regular season.
* Wednesday marked the first time in franchise history that Toronto overcame a multi-goal deficit to win a season-opening game.
* The number of regular-season games between the Maple Leafs and Canadiens (748) will reach 757 in 2020-21 to surpass the Bruins-Canadiens (750) for the most in League history.
* Brock Boeser (2-0—2), Bo Horvat (1-1—2), Quinn Hughes (0-2—2) and Tanner Pearson (0-2—2) each had two points and Nils Hoglander tallied in his NHL debut as Vancouver accounted for three of the game’s five third-period goals to open its season with a win over Edmonton.
* Hoglander (20 years, 24 days) became the fifth-youngest Canucks player to score a goal in his NHL debut, behind only Rick Lanz (19 years, 24 days), Dan Woodley (19 years, 283 days), Elias Pettersson (19 years, 325 days) and Bryan McSheffrey (20 years, 16 days).
* Braden Holtby made 28 saves to pick up the victory in his first game with the Canucks. Holtby has started in nine consecutive season-opening games contested by his teams (2012-13 – 2019-20 w/ WSH; 2020-21 w/ VAN).
BLUES SNAP AVALANCHE’S WIN STREAK IN SEASON-OPENING GAMES
Oskar Sundqvist scored two goals and birthday boy Kyle Clifford tallied in his team debut as the Blues bested the Avalanche in the first of eight games between last season’s top two teams in the Western Conference slated for 2020-21. St. Louis, which snapped Colorado’s win streak in season openers at four games, occupied first place in the Western Conference standings for 122 of 161 days during the 2019-20 regular season (69.6%), while the Avalanche did so for 33 (20.5%).