Pittsburgh Penguins win their home opener

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PITTSBURGH — Matt Cooke scored his team-leading third goal of the season and the Pittsburgh Penguins raced past the Florida Panthers 4-2 on Tuesday night.

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Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke works the puck in front of Florida's Brian Campbell in the second period of the Penguins home opener. Pittsburgh won and is off to its best start in 17 seasons.  Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press
Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke works the puck in front of Florida's Brian Campbell in the second period of the Penguins home opener. Pittsburgh won and is off to its best start in 17 seasons.

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. Malkin missed his second consecutive game because of what Penguins coach Dan Bylsma called “soreness.”

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.

SENATORS 4, WILD 3 (SO)

In Ottawa, Daniel Alfredsson scored Ottawa’s third consecutive shootout goal and the Senators rallied to beat 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.

Colin Greening drew Ottawa even at 3 with a power-play goal 8:22 into the third period, moments after Ottawa buzzed the net on a 4-on-3 advantage.

Kyle Brodziak and Devin Setoguchi gave Minnesota a 2-0 lead in the first and Nick Johnson restored the Wild’s two-goal margin 1:56 into the third.

Nick Foligno netted Ottawa’s first goal in the second period before Chris Neil drew the Senators within one.

Michalek came out of the penalty box to set up Greening’s tying goal after he was sent off with Minnesota’s Cal Clutterbuck for roughing at 6:13 in the wake of Neil’s goal.

Brodziak scored his first goal of the season 8:41 in when he deflected Clayton Stoner’s shot from the left boards past Anderson.

Former Senators 50-goal scorer Dany Heatley, who was booed constantly, got the secondary assist on Setoguchi’s goal in his return to Ottawa.


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