Friday, October 6, 2017

Ultimate Sporting News October 6 2017

Neal lifts Golden Knights to win in Vegas franchise debut

James Neal scored twice in the third period Friday night, rallying the Golden Knights to a 2-1 victory over the Dallas Stars in the debut of the first major pro sports franchise in Las Vegas.
The expansion team was playing five days after the shooting that killed 58 people in Las Vegas, and the Dallas players honored the desert city by forming a line next to their Vegas counterparts before the national anthem.
With the video board reading "Viva Las Vegas" above the players, the public address announcer said "Dallas stands with Vegas and those affected by the horrifying tragedy."
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 45 of 46 shots to help the Golden Knights become the first expansion to open with a victory since the Ottawa Senators in 1992. They also spoiled coach Ken Hitchcock's return to Dallas 18 years after he directed the franchise's only Stanley Cup title.
Both of Neal's goals came against Kari Lehtonen after Ben Bishop left with an apparent facial injury after taking a puck to the mask. Bishop had stopped all 19 shots in his Dallas debut after coming over in a trade with Los Angeles and signing a long-term contract with the Stars.
A former Dallas player and expected to be a top offensive threat for the Golden Knights, Neal beat a screened Lehtonen between the legs midway through the third period for the tying goal.
The go-ahead goal came in transition when Neal got the puck past from Lehtonen from his knees with 2:44 remaining. Lehtonen shared the job with Antti Niemi the past two seasons, and the Stars made it clear in the offseason they were going a new direction at goalie.
Tyler Seguin opened the scoring late in the second period when he redirected a pass from Devin Shore past Marc-Andre Fleury, a three-time Stanley Cup winner with Pittsburgh before being unprotected in the expansion draft.
The Stars had plenty to celebrate as well, marking 25 seasons since moving from Minnesota with plenty of highlights while three-time golf major winner Jordan Spieth and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback-turned-broadcaster Tony Romo watched from a suite.
The biggest pregame roar came when Hitchcock was introduced, right after a highlight reel that included Brett Hull's Stanley Cup-winning goal when Hitchcock was behind the bench in 1999.
Technically, it's the 24th season for the Dallas Stars because of the lockout that wiped out the 2004-05 season. They moved from Minnesota for the 1993-94 season.
Golden Knights: At Arizona on Saturday night.
Stars: Hitchcock's return to St. Louis on Saturday night.

Steven Stamkos has key assist, Lightning beat Panthers 5-3

 Steven Stamkos is back.
Stamkos set up the go-ahead goal in his return from a right knee injury and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Florida Panthers 5-3 on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
Stamkos missed the final 65 games last season with a torn meniscus in the knee, an injury that required surgery. He sent a pass from the left circle through the slot to Vladislav Namestnikov, who put Tampa Bay up 3-2 from near the post 59 seconds into the final period during a power play.
"I was looking forward to this game for a while," Stamkos said. "Training camp is one thing, preseason's another. Getting into the regular season is different. It was a good step and it felt pretty good. I'm just going to keep improving and getting stronger as the season goes on."
Roberto Luongo turned aside Stamkos' shot from the slot late in the second.
Ondrej Palat had two goals, and Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov also scored for the Lightning. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 33 saves.
Tampa Bay missed the playoffs last season after reaching the Stanley Cup Finals and the Eastern Conference Finals in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
"These wins mean a lot," Stamkos said. "We took advantage of a big power play in the third and got the lead, and held on to it."
Florida got goals from Connor Brickley Mark Pysyk and Jonathan Huberdeau, and Luongo stopped 20 shots. New Panthers coach Bob Boughner took the loss in his NHL coaching debut.
"We did a lot of good things," Florida defenseman Keith Yandle said. "I like the way we played. I like the way that we competed."
Kucherov extended the Tampa Bay advantage to 4-2 at 6:38 of the third.
Huberdeau cut it to 4-3 with 5 1/2 minutes to play, but Palat secured Tampa Bay's win with a late empty-netter.
Shortly after Vasilevskiy made an in-close save on Aleksander Barkov, Palat opened the scoring on a backhander at 6:33 of the first.
Point made it 2-0 25 seconds into the second.
Brickley, positioned just outside the crease, pulled Florida to 2-1 midway through the second off a nifty pass by Alex Petrovic.
The Panthers tied it at 2 on Pysyk's goal with 2:13 left in the second.
Lightning right wing Ryan Callahan, who missed 64 games last season because of a hip injury, also was in the lineup.
NOTES: Tampa Bay is 16-7-0-2 in season openers, the best winning percentage in the NHL. ... Tampa Bay D Jake Dotchin, limited to one preseason game after violating an undisclosed team rule, was scratched. ... Florida RW Owen Tippett, taken 10th overall in this year's draft, didn't play. The move allows the 18-year old additional time to prepare for his NHL debut, which should come in the near future. ... There were six slashing penalties. The NHL is cracking down this season on that infraction.
The teams meet again Saturday night in the Panthers' home opener.

Newcomer Panarin, rookies help Columbus rout Islanders 5-0

 Artemi Panarin didn't need to score a goal to have a big impact in his first game for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Acquired in an offseason trade with the Chicago Blackhawks and touted as the elite scorer Columbus needs, Panarin had three assists and passed sharply in the Blue Jackets' 5-0 victory over the New York Islanders on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
"We're really excited with what he brings in the full package," Columbus coach John Tortorella said. "There's a hell of a lot more to him than just the skill."
Rookies Sonny Milano and Pierre-Luc Dubois had their first NHL goals, Cam AtkinsonRyan Murray and Zach Werenski also scored, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves for his 20th career shutout.
With all of the offensive opportunities, it could have been worse for New York.
Milano scored on Columbus' first shot of the season - 1:07 in. Oliver Bjorkstrand shoveled the puck out from the back wall to the 21-year-old Milano, who snapped a 10-footer past goalie Thomas Greiss.
"I think it was like a 10-second shift," Milano said. "I just got out there and the puck landed on my stick and I put it in, so it was pretty cool."
Midway through the first period, Panarin circled in and teed up a pass that grazed Greiss' stick and went into the net off Atkinson's skat e. The whole sequence came about after Atkinson picked off a pass in the neutral zone and fed Panarin for the rush.
Murray scored from the left circle 6:57 into the second period after getting a pass from Panarin, who carried the puck around the back of the net. Later in the period on a power play, Werenski jumped on a sharp rebound and slammed it past Greiss from about 60 feet.
The 19-year-old Dubois - the third overall pick in 2016 - got his first NHL goal , a wrister from the slot 1:25 later to make it 5-0.
"It was really fun," Dubois said. "Sonny started us off with a goal, and it doesn't get better than that."
New York opened with energy, but got bogged down after Columbus started scoring.
"It was disappointing," Islanders coach Doug Weight said. "It seemed a little like deer-in-the-headlights after it was 3-nothing. We just didn't react well."
Greiss made 21 saves before being pulled after giving up Dubois' goal. Jaroslav Halak stopped all 11 shots he faced in relief.
NOTES: Atkinson has scored in four straight season openers. ... Panarin was the first player in Columbus franchise history to get three points in his club debut. ... The Blue Jackets loaned RW Josh Anderson to Cleveland of the American Hockey League for conditioning. He didn't participate in training camp because of a contract dispute. The team also sent D Markus Nutivaara to Cleveland. ... Columbus is the youngest team in the NHL with an average age of 25. .... D Ryan Pulock, D Scott Mayfield and C Joshua Ho-Sang were healthy scratches for New York. D Scott Harrington was scratched for Columbus. ... Shane Prince and Alan Quine are out with injuries for New York. ... Boone Jenner, who is out with an injury for Columbus, saw his consecutive-game streak stopped at 175.
New York: Hosts Buffalo on Saturday night.
Columbus: At Chicago on Saturday night.

Ultimate Sporting News October 5 2017

Quick opens with a shutout in Kings' 2-0 win over Flyers

Jonathan Quick's last season opener ended in the first period, and his groin injury kept him out for the Los Angeles Kings' next 59 games.
After a long offseason and a coaching change, the Kings' star goalie went back to work with a vintage performance.
Quick made 35 saves in the first season-opening shutout of his career, and the Kings won in new head coach John Stevens' debut, 2-0 over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.
Trevor Lewis and Tyler Toffoli scored for the Kings, who immediately got a stellar game from their well-rested goalie. Quick was outstanding in the third period, making 17 saves and surviving a series of short-handed situations to post the seventh October shutout of his career.
"He's unbelievable," Lewis said. "He does it every night, and we see it every day in practice. You almost get used to it. It's nice to have him back."
Quick didn't return until late February after getting hurt in last season's opener. The Kings missed the playoffs for the second time in three years, leading to coach Darryl Sutter's firing and the promotion of Stevens, Sutter's longtime assistant and the former Philadelphia head coach.
"With a new staff, that's different, but this group has had a lot of success," Stevens said. "I think they're a little bit anxious to get going after what's happened the last couple of years, and I think that has created a lot of excitement on our hockey team, so I'd like to see that continue."
While the Kings have new speed and youth alongside their veteran stars, they actually played a sturdy, defensively proficient opener that often looked an awful lot like something Sutter would appreciate.
Michal Neuvirth stopped 25 shots for Philadelphia, which followed up its season-opening win at San Jose with a frustrating offensive night.
"Every line was doing the right thing out there," captain Claude Giroux said. "Tonight we just ran into a hot goalie. He's not too bad."
After a scoreless first period highlighted by Neuvirth's stunning glove save on Kings captain Anze Kopitar, Lewis put Los Angeles ahead midway through the second on a setup from Nick Shore. Toffoli scored with 2:21 to play on a pass from former Flyers forward Jeff Carter.
"It's a back-to-back, and that's tough to have in the second day of the season," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. "We still generated quite a bit, but we couldn't find a way to put one in the back of the net."
Stevens took over the Kings this summer after serving as an assistant for the previous seven seasons, winning two Stanley Cup rings as Sutter's defensive specialist. Before heading to LA, Stevens coached the Flyers for parts of four seasons from 2006-10, leading them to the Eastern Conference finals in 2008.
Stevens didn't want the game puck, however: Three Kings also made their NHL debuts.
Alex Iafallo, a speedy 23-year-old forward from Minnesota-Duluth, skated on Los Angeles' top line with Kopitar and Dustin Brown in his first professional hockey game after winning a roster spot in camp. Defensemen Oscar Fantenberg and Kurtis MacDermid also got their first shot with the Kings, who want to be faster and younger in the post-Sutter era.
NOTES: Staples Center observed a moment of silence before the game for the victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting. They included 22-year-old Christina Duarte, who started work with the Kings this summer as a fan service associate. The Kings wore a sticker on their helmets bearing her initials, "CD," inside a heart. ... D Travis Sanheim made his NHL debut for the Flyers, who picked him in the first round in 2014. ... D Alec Martinez, the Kings' 2014 Stanley Cup Final hero, missed the opener with a lower-body injury. ... Scott Laughton led the Flyers with five shots. Toffoli had seven for the Kings.
Flyers: At Ducks on Saturday.
Kings: At Sharks on Saturday.

Ducks rally from 3 goals down to beat Coyotes 5-4

The Ducks weren't too excited about the start to their season opener, but turns out they had an exciting finish in the wings.
After falling behind 4-1 Thursday night to the Coyotes, Anaheim responded with four consecutive goals to edge Arizona 5-4 on a goal by Rickard Rakell with 3:30 left to play.
Anaheim's Corey Perry scored twice and set up Andrew Coglino's tying goal with 6:15 remaining.
"That's not the way we want to start a hockey game," Perry said. "They played well the first half of the game and we didn't do what we needed to do.
"Late in the second period we started to find our legs and started to get involved emotionally, and it carried over to that third period."
It was difficult loss for the young Coyotes playing their first game under coach Rick Tocchet.
"We're up 4-1 and started to back off," Tocchet said.
"It's a learning lesson. It's a tough one, because that's a game we should have had. I liked the way we were playing at 4-1, it just seemed like Anaheim made a push. That's why they're a good team and have won a lot of games. They stuck with it and we didn't."
Arizona scored a pair of power-play goals in the second period to take a seemingly commanding 4-1 lead.
The second power-play goal came after Perry knocked down Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue behind the net. That led to a wild scuffle that lasted long enough for Anaheim goalie John Gibson to slowly skate down to the red line. By the time order was restored, Domingue and Gibson exchanged words. Gibson appeared to be challenging Domingue to fight, saying, "Let's go."
"I don't know why (Perry) got so mad at me," Domingue said. "He hit me in the head. You can't do that.
"But you can't let that stuff take away from an entire game. You still have to play after."
Gibson received a 10-minute misconduct penalty, to go along with Perry's two-minute goalie interference penalty. Arizona quickly cashed in, Christian Fischer scoring off Brendan Perlini's assist.
But that was Arizona's last hurrah. Perry felt the dust-up ignited the Ducks.
"That's kind of when things started to change and we got emotionally involved in the hockey game," Perry said. "Before that I don't think we were doing a whole lot. We were standing around and watching them play."
Perry got a measure of revenge with his second goal, taking Rakell's pass and deflecting it past Domingue. Thirty-one seconds later, Ondrej Kase pulled Anaheim back within one and it was a new game.
"There was a little scrum there and all of a sudden all of the momentum turns," said Arizona's Alex Goligoski, who assisted on the Coyotes' first two goals. "I think we just lost focus for a little bit and it spiraled out of control. Good teams don't do that."
The Ducks started the season without five players they expected to dress (Ryan MillerHampus LindholmSami VatanenRyan KeslerPatrick Eaves) and then learned at the morning skate they would be without first-line center Ryan Getzlaf, out with a lower-body injury. He suffered the injury in practice last week. . Friday was the first time the Ducks opened the season at home since 2009. It was only their fifth season opener in their 24 years. . Arizona rookie Clayton Keller, 19, scored his first career goal to give the Coyotes their 2-0 lead. . The three-goal comeback was Anaheim's first since March 31, 2014 vs. Winnipeg. ... It was the NHL head coaching debut for Tocchet, 53, who spent the past three seasons as an assistant with the Penguins.
Coyotes: Host Philadelphia on Saturday night.
Ducks: Host Vancouver on Saturday night.

Saad, Blackhawks pound Penguins 10-1 in opener

 Brandon Saad was a force on both ends of the ice. Patrick Kane made a couple of dazzling passes. Nick Schmaltz showed off his speed, and Ryan Hartman was everywhere.
It was quite a show, especially for opening night.
Saad scored three times in his return to Chicago and Hartman had a goal and four assists, helping the Blackhawks pound the Pittsburgh Penguins 10-1 on Thursday night.
Schmaltz added two goals and an assist as Chicago kicked off its season in style with a runaway victory against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions. Kane had a goal and three assists in the Blackhawks' highest scoring game since a 10-1 win against Winnipeg on Oct. 12, 1988.
"It was almost like it wasn't a real game or something," Kane said. "It was a fun start to be a part of."
Pittsburgh was coming off a 5-4 overtime loss to St. Louis in its season opener on Wednesday, and it looked every bit like a team on the second half of back-to-back nights. Antti Niemiwas pulled after allowing four goals on 13 shots in his Penguins debut, forcing Matt Murray to come in after he took the loss against the Blues.
Sidney Crosby found Phil Kessel for a power-play goal at 2:05 of the second period, but Chicago already had a 5-0 lead at that point. It was the most goals allowed by Pittsburgh since a 10-8 loss to San Jose on Jan. 13, 1996.
"It's early, but it's disturbing," coach Mike Sullivan said. "When you lose a game like that it's disturbing, I don't care when it is in the season. And so, we've got to do some soul-searching and right now, we are simply not playing the game the right way."
The Blackhawks won the Central Division last season and finished with the most points in the Western Conference. But they were swept by Nashville in their second consecutive first-round loss, leading to a flurry of moves by admittedly angry general manager Stan Bowman.
Chicago, which won the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013 and 2015, scored three goals in 13 periods in the series against Nashville. It got four in the first 9:16 against Pittsburgh.
"As a team, that's how we want to play, with that speed, the quick transition, getting pucks down low, past their D," Saad said. "We have a message on our style of play, and I think we did a great job tonight."
Hartman scored off a slick pass from Kane at 6:21. After Saad got his first off a rush with Richard Panik, Kane made another great pass to set up Schmaltz's backhander at 7:34. Saad then beat Niemi with a well-placed shot through a crowd in front, and the rout was on.
"We made mistakes and they buried them," Crosby said. "It wasn't, you know, just you make those mistakes and you get away with it. They capitalized on every one."
The 24-year-old Saad began his career with Chicago and helped the Blackhawks win two Stanley Cups before he was traded to Columbus after the 2015 season. Bowman got him back in a blockbuster trade with the Blue Jackets in June, parting with dynamic winger Artemi Panarin in a multiplayer deal.
For one night at least, it looked like a smart move. Saad, a Pittsburgh native, finished off his hat trick at 5:21 of the third, and Brent Seabrook made it 10-1 with a rebound goal with 6:15 remaining.
"It was obviously a great beginning," coach Joel Quenneville said.
Hartman set a career high for points and assists in Chicago's highest-scoring opener, topping an 8-6 victory at Nashville on Oct. 5, 2006. Patrick Sharp also scored in his return to Chicago after signing a team-friendly, one-year deal with the Blackhawks in the offseason. Corey Crawford made 28 saves and Panik added a goal and an assist.
NOTES: Schmaltz gingerly skated off the ice in the third and was helped to the locker room, but Quenneville said he was fine. ... Sharp's first-period goal was his 600th career point. ... Blackhawks F Marian Hossa was greeted with a huge roar when he was introduced with the team before the game. Hossa has been ruled out for the season due to a progressive skin disorder, and it's unclear if he will be able to play again. ... Former Blackhawks F Bryan Bickell received a standing ovation when he took one more skate with the team during the pregame festivities. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last November and signed a one-day contract Wednesday to retire with the Blackhawks.
Penguins: Host Nashville on Saturday night.
Blackhawks: Host Columbus on Saturday night.

Red Wings beat Wild 4-2 in opener at new arena

The first two goals at Detroit's new arena came from young standouts the team is trying to build around.
When that wasn't enough to shake the Minnesota Wild, grizzled veteran Henrik Zetterberg put the Red Wings back ahead to stay.
Zetterberg and Martin Frk scored in the third period to lift Detroit to a 4-2 victory over the Wild on Thursday night in the first regular-season game at Little Caesars Arena. Anthony Mantha and Dylan Larkin scored 23 seconds apart in the second period for the Red Wings, who then had to bounce back after blowing that 2-0 lead early in the third.
Zetterberg, who turns 37 on Monday, gave the Red Wings a 3-2 lead, collecting the puck in the slot and beating Devan Dubnyk between the legs with a wrist shot .
"Hank only played one exhibition game, but he didn't look like he missed a beat at all. I thought he was excellent," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "He's been a world-class player a long time. He just plays winning hockey, and he's a great example."
Joel Eriksson Ek and Chris Stewart scored 48 seconds apart for Minnesota to tie it early in the third, but then Zetterberg put Detroit back on top with 12:53 remaining.
"They obviously picked it up and we were satisfied with, `Oh, we tied it up,'" Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We didn't keep our foot on the gas, that's for sure."
The Red Wings said goodbye to Joe Louis Arena in April and moved to a new downtown venue they're sharing with the Detroit Pistons. The Red Wings missed the playoffs last season for the first time since 1990, and although expectations are low at the moment, they opened with a victory.
"It was a lot of fun out there, from the introductions and all the way to the end," said Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard, who had 37 saves to earn his 200th career win. "This is an unbelievable facility."
Even before the opening faceoff, fans were already partaking in that old Detroit tradition of tossing octopi on the ice. The puck went across the Detroit goal line twice in the first, but goaltender interference was called both times and the period ended scoreless. Dubnyk made the save of the night when, while sprawled on his back, he swung his left arm across to deny Gustav Nyquist on a breakaway.
The Wild wasted a two-man advantage in the second period, and Detroit took full advantage of a similar opportunity. Mantha opened the scoring on a two-man advantage, and with the Red Wings still a man up after that, Larkin redirected the puck past Dubnyk to make it 2-0.
After Minnesota rallied to tie it, Zetterberg scored his crucial goal.
"Technically, I'd like to stay down on that a little bit more," Dubnyk said. "He's in the slot. I made a read that he was going high glove, and I'll have to watch whether it hits a stick and stays on the ice or just stays on the ice."
Frk made it 4-2 with his first NHL goal.
There were quite a few empty seats at the start of the second and third periods. Blashill offered a theory as to why.
"I thought the beginning of the second period, lots of people were checking out the concourse, so we've got to work on that, we've got to make sure they're in there at the start. But overall I thought the atmosphere was great," Blashill said. "It was an event. We know it. I think you soak those types of things in."
NOTES: Commissioner Gary Bettman was in town for the opener at the new arena. "In terms of the fan experience, it is as good as you get in a public facility," he said.
Wild: Visit Carolina on Saturday night.
Red Wings: Visit Ottawa on Saturday night.

Alex Ovechkin has hat trick, Capitals beat Sens 5-4 in SO

 Alex Ovechkin put on a third-period show - at the Ottawa Senators' expense.
Ovechkin had a hat trick in a 6:33 span in the third period and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the shootout winner in the Washington Capitals' 5-4 victory over the Senators on Thursday night in the season opener for both teams. Ovechkin also had a shootout goal.
"We needed someone to pick us up and that line picked us up," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said.
Ovechkin scored twice in a 1:23 span to tie it early in the third period.
Cody Ceci turned the puck over down low, allowing Kuznetsov to find Ovechkin for a shot he roofed past Craig Anderson. Then, the Senators were unable to clear the puck and the same line was able to move the puck quickly to allow Ovechkin to score.
"You give star players like that time and space, and especially Ovechkin with that shot, he's going to score," said Mark Stone, who scored twice for Ottawa.
Ottawa regained the lead 1:17 later when Stone tipped in Dion Phaneuf's shot.
Ovechkin tied it again with 9:12 left in the period, completing his 18th hat trick.
"In the end, it's three turnovers that cost us the game," Ottawa coach Guy Boucher said. "The three last goals we've got the puck and we basically give it back to them and they took advantage of it. Obviously, when you've got a guy like Ovechkin on the other side taking advantage of it, it's bound to hurt you."
Brett Connolly also scored for Washington, and Braden Holtby made 28 saves. Derick Brassard had a goal and two assists for Ottawa, Chris Wideman also scored, and Anderson made 24 saves.
NOTES: The Senators held a moment of silence before the game for the victims of the Las Vegas shooting and for former Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray, who died in August. Murray started his NHL coaching career with the Capitals. ... Ottawa defenseman Johnny Oduya didn't play in the third period after leaving with a lower-body injury.
Capitals: Host Montreal on Saturday night.
Senators: Host Detroit on Saturday night.

Varlamov stops 37 shots as Avalanche beat Rangers 4-2

Semyon Varlamov helped the Colorado Avalanche get the new season off to a winning start and spoiled Kevin Shattenkirk's first game with his hometown team.
Varlamov stopped 37 shots, Tyson Barrie scored the tiebreaking goal late in the second period and the Avalanche beat the New York Rangers 4-2 in the teams' opener Thursday night.
"I definitely felt good out there," Varlamov said. "I felt very confident, I had a couple good saves at the beginning of the game, and those saves gave me confidence. I saw lots of shots from the outside, which is thanks to my teammates."
Matt Duchene and Mikko Rantanen scored in the first period, and Gabriel Landeskog added an empty-netter for the Avalanche, who finished with the fewest points in the NHL last season.
"That's a pretty big night by Varly in order to get us the win," Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. "That's how you win - your top guys step up. Varly was on top of our list."
Mika Zibanejad scored two power-play goals late in the first period for the Rangers, and Henrik Lundqvist had 22 saves.
Shattenkirk, who grew up a Rangers fan in suburban New Rochelle and signed with New York in the offseason, had an assist to move one point away from 300 for his career.
"The result still stings right now," he said. "When I look back on it a long time from now, it will obviously be a great moment for me. It's still a special night in my career. But right now I think I am just a little upset with the result and some plays out there that I felt like I could have had a better effect on the game and helped our team out a little bit more."
New York finished 2 for 6 on the power play, and Colorado was 1 for 5.
Zibanejad missed the net from the left circle about 4 1/2 minutes into the third period. Varlamov, who stopped David Desharnais in close earlier in the third, denied Rick Nash up front 20 seconds later, and the Avalanche goalie then thwarted Brady Skjei's wraparound attempt about six minutes in.
Varlamov also made two big saves on Zibanejad with about four minutes to go.
The Rangers pulled Lundqvist for an extra skater with 1 1/2 minutes remaining, but couldn't get the tying goal. Landeskog capped the scoring with just under 3 seconds left.
Both goalies made some nice stops in a chippy second period that saw the teams combine for eight penalties - five by the Rangers.
Barrie put the Avalanche up 3-2 as he came up the middle, took a pass from rookie Alex Kerfoot, skated up and fired it past Lundqvist into the top left corner with 2:10 remaining in the middle period.
"That was a sweet dish," Barrie said of Kerfoot's pass. "His patience, it's fun to watch. I just came in late, and didn't even really call for it, he just put it on my tape, and I fired as quick as I could."
Duchene, still with the Avalanche after being involved in offseason trade rumors, got Colorado on the scoreboard 5:29 into the game. Lundqvist stopped the initial shot by Nail Yakupov, but the puck dropped to the goalie's left and Patrick Nemeth and Duchene both took whacks at the puck with Duchene putting it in.
After getting several good looks during their first power play a minute later, the Rangers then fell behind 2-0 as the Avalanche took advantage of their first man-advantage.
With New York's 18-year-old rookie center Filip Chytil off for tripping, Rantanen took a pass from Nathan MacKinnon in the right circle and beat Lundqvist with a slap shot into the top right corner with 9:07 left in the first.
With the Rangers on the power play, Chris Kreider nearly got the Rangers on the scoreboard as his attempt on a rebound of Shattenkirk's shot hit the right post. Seconds later, the puck came back to Shattenkirk and he passed it to the left to Zibanejad, who fired it past Varlamov with 3:32 to go.
The Rangers were on the power play again when Zibanejad got his second of the game from beyond the left circle off a pass from Mats Zuccarello with 2 seconds left in the period.
NOTES: Zibanejad became the first Rangers player with two power-play goals on opening night since Jaromir Jagr against Philadelphia on Oct. 5, 2005. ... C Chytil, selected No. 21 overall in the NHL Draft, became the fourth-youngest player to appear in a game for the Rangers at 18 years, 30 days old, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... The teams conclude the season series Jan. 20 at Colorado. ... Barrie is now eight points from becoming the sixth defenseman in franchise history to reach 200 for his career.
Avalanche: At New Jersey on Saturday.
Rangers: At Toronto on Saturday night.

Drouin scores to seal Canadiens 3-2 shootout win over Sabres

Canadiens goalie Carey Price looked his familiar formidable self.
And newcomer Jonathan Drouin delivered on offense in leading Montreal to a season-opening 3-2 shootout victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.
Price stopped 43 shots through overtime and denied all three of Buffalo's shootout attempts following an offseason in which he signed an eight-year, $84 million contract extension.
Drouin, the Quebec-born first-round draft pick acquired in an offseason trade from Tampa Bay, then put on a nifty display by scoring the lone shootout goal and adding an assist.
Driving toward the net, Drouin faked left in prompting goalie Robin Lehner to make the first move, and then zagged to his right in backhanding the puck into the open side.
"It shows you the kind of skill level he's got," Canadiens coach Claude Julien said about the third player selected in the 2013 draft.
If Drouin proved to be the odd-man out among a talented Lightning group of forwards, he's quickly finding his niche on a Canadiens team in need of offense.
Montreal traded prospect defenseman Mikhail Sergachev and a conditional 2018 second-round pick to acquire Drouin in June.
"It is important for the team, two points, but for me, too," said Drouin, who's pass through the crease set up Max Pacioretty's one-timer that tied it at 1 late in the first period.
Phillip Danault forced overtime by scoring a short-handed goal on a wraparound with 11:59 left.
The Sabres blew two one-goal leads in spoiling Phil Housley's debut as head coach and Jason Pominville's two-goal outing in his first game back with Buffalo since being reacquired in a trade with Minnesota in June.
Housley lamented the loss, while noting he saw positive signs of the up-tempo style he's introducing to Buffalo after spending the previous four seasons as an assistant coach in Nashville.
"We outshot the team, we out-chanced the team, we just didn't beat them on the scoreboard," said Housley, the Hall of Fame defenseman who broke into the NHL with Buffalo as an 18-year old in 1982. "We don't like the result obviously, but I think we can take a lot of things from this game as we move forward."
Buffalo took 45 shots, including 41 through three periods a year after the team topped 40 just four times.
Where Buffalo faltered was on the power play in converting just one of five opportunities. The Sabres managed one shot on goal during a two-man advantage spanning 78 seconds in the second period. And then they gave up the tying goal 42 seconds after Montreal's Andrew Shaw was penalized for interference.
Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber gained the Sabres zone and briefly lost control of the puck before dumping it behind Buffalo's net. Danault pounced on it and wrapped it in from the right side.
"We sort of took the foot off the gas there," Housley said.
Buffalo is coming off a tumultuous offseason in which general manager Tim Murray and coach Dan Bylsma were fired after the team missed the playoffs for a sixth consecutive season. Jason Botterill took over as GM in May and a month later hired Housley.
Pominville opened the scoring with a power-play goal 8:30 into the first period and then converted Jack Eichel's pass through the middle to put Buffalo up 2-1 in the opening minute of the second period.
The former Sabres captain spent the four-plus seasons in Minnesota before being was acquired along with defenseman Marco Scandella.
NOTES: Pominville's last two-goal game in a Sabres' uniform came in a 4-3 shootout win over New Jersey on March 2, 2013, about a month before he was traded to Minnesota. ... Canadiens free-agent addition, D Karl Alzner, extended his consecutive games streak to 541 - the fifth-longest active streak, and one short of matching Brendan Morrison for 17th on NHL list. ...The Sabres elected not to choose a captain to start the season and instead named four assistant captains: Forwards Eichel, Ryan O'Reilly and Kyle Okposo, and defenseman Zach Bogosian.
Montreal: At New York Rangers on Friday night.
Buffalo: At New York Islanders on Saturday night.