Matt Cooke scored his team-leading third goal of the season and the Penguins raced past the Florida Panthers , 4-2, last night in Pittsburgh.
Pascal Dupuis, James Neal, and Richard Park also had goals for the Penguins, who are off to their best start in 17 seasons despite playing without captain Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
Crosby remains sidelined while he recovers from concussion-like symptoms, but Pittsburgh hasn’t needed him during the season’s first week, improving to 3-0-1.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 32 shots for the Penguins, who never trailed in their home opener.
Marcel Goc and Tomas Fleischmann scored for the Panthers, who failed to start the season with consecutive victories for the first time since 2005.
Crosby went through a rigorous morning skate as he continues his slow, methodical comeback. He still hasn’t been cleared for contact and remains guarded when talking about his future.
“I mean closer than I was yesterday, but I can’t give you a date,’’ Crosby said. “I’d love for them to tell me a date I can come back and play, but it’s the same.’’
Senators 4, Wild 3 - Daniel Alfredsson scored Ottawa’s third straight shootout goal and the Senators rallied for a victory over Minnesota in the home opener of their 20th season.
Milan Michalek and Jason Spezza also scored in the tiebreaker against Niklas Backstrom, who made 41 saves for Minnesota.
Craig Anderson stopped 23 shots and denied Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu’s backhand in the shootout before Matt Cullen scored on the Wild’s second attempt.