Bryan Berard found his comfort zone, just inside the blue line with the opposition trying to kill off a penalty.
The New York Islanders had a five-on-three advantage, and the New York Rangers had to figure out how to cover him and defense partner Marc-Andre Bergeron.
Berard broke a second-period tie in his return to Long Island, and Bergeron had a goal and an assist last night to lift the Islanders to a 2-1 victory over the Rangers in Uniondale, N.Y.
Berard, signed to a one-year deal Tuesday 10 years after winning top NHL rookie honors with the Islanders, gave them a 2-1 edge with 6:04 left in the period. Bergeron, who scored the first goal in the closing seconds of the opening frame, earned the second assist.
This marks the latest in a string of impressive comebacks for Berard, a Rhode Island native and former Bruin who was limited to 11 games last season with Columbus following back surgery and earned a roster spot after coming to Islanders training camp on a tryout basis.
"A lot of people questioned if I was healthy this summer after two back surgeries and missing a lot of hockey the last two years," the 30-year-old Berard said. "I came in proving I'm healthy. I'm feeling good and I'm only going to get better."
He stayed around the Islanders as the season began and waited for a spot to open, covering his own expenses after training camp ended. His latest chance came Monday when defenseman Freddy Meyer was claimed off waivers by Phoenix.
Rick DiPietro made 36 saves for the Islanders.
Canadiens 3, Penguins 2 - Exactly 22 years after Patrick Roy made his first start for Montreal in Pittsburgh, Carey Price made his NHL debut in the same city and came out with a win, too.
Matching the rest of Roy's Hall of Fame career will certainly be tougher.
"It hasn't really hit me yet," the 20-year-old said after he stopped 26 Pittsburgh shots.
Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Markov each had a goal and an assist, and Mark Recchi had two assists for the Canadiens.
Ryan Whitney and Maxime Talbot scored for Pittsburgh.
"The kid played pretty well, obviously made some big saves," Whitney said. "He won the game for them."
Price's NHL debut was a highly anticipated event across Canada after he earned national fame by leading his country to the World Junior Championship last season, earning MVP honors in the process.
With Roy in net, the Canadiens beat Pittsburgh, 5-3, Oct. 10, 1985.
Flyers 8, Canucks 2 - Mike Richards's 4-point night included two goals as Philadelphia routed host Vancouver.
Jeff Carter and R.J Umberger scored 13 seconds apart midway through the first, and Daniel Briere scored and set up Simon Gagne before the period ended as Philadelphia built a 4-1 lead.
Briere, the free agent centerpiece in the Flyers' rebuilding project, added two assists. The speedy center has four goals and three assists after signing an eight-year, $52 million deal.
Roberto Luongo gave up four goals on 13 shots before being pulled.
Senators 3, Thrashers 1 - Antoine Vermette scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period, Brian Elliott won his NHL debut in goal, and visiting Ottawa (5-0) remained unbeaten with a victory over winless Atlanta (0-3).
Blues 4, Predators 1 - Paul Kariya helped beat his old team in St. Louis's home opener, assisting on two first-period goals by Brad Boyes in a victory over Nashville.
Stars 5, Kings 1 - Niklas Hagman scored twice, Marty Turco stopped 32 shots, and host Dallas, which swept all eight games from the Kings last season, beat Los Angeles again.
Sharks 2, Blackhawks 1 - Milan Michalek's second power-play goal of the game, with 3:31 left in the third period, lifted visiting San Jose past Chicago.
Lightning 2, Panthers 1 - Chris Gratton, reacquired by the Lightning from Florida for a 2008 second-round draft pick in June, scored twice and Johan Holmqvist made 30 saves as host Tampa Bay beat the Panthers.
Wild 2, Oilers 0 - Niklas Backstrom made 21 saves for his second shutout of the season as unbeaten Minnesota topped Edmonton to improve to 3-0.
Red Wings 4, Flames 2 - Kris Draper's goal late in the second period broke a tie and lifted host Detroit over Calgary.
Blue Jackets 3, Coyotes 0 - Jared Boll scored his first NHL goal and Pascal Leclaire picked up his second straight shutout to lead host Columbus past Phoenix.