NEW YORK — James Neal scored twice, Evgeni Malkin assisted on three Pittsburgh goals, and the Penguins chased reigning Vezina Trophy winner Henrik Lundqvist from the net in the second period of a 6-3 victory over the Rangers in New York’s home opener on Sunday night.
Neal, Tyler Kennedy and Matt Niskanen all scored in the first period, and Malkin set up Pascal Dupuis in the second to push Pittsburgh’s lead to 4-1 and drive Lundqvist to the bench. The Penguins, building off a 3-1 win at Philadelphia on Saturday, are 2-0 in the lockout-shortened season and haven’t even played a home game.
Neal added his second of the game and third of the season off another assist by Malkin to make it 5-1 at 5:06 of the third. Kris Letang added an empty-net goal with 1:52 left to close the scoring.
Veteran backup Tomas Vokoun started for Pittsburgh over Marc-Andre Fleury and was solid in making 31 saves.
On the flip side, the Rangers – who won the Atlantic Division last season and had the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs – are 0-2 despite the addition of star forward Rick Nash, who netted his first goal with New York.
Ryan Callahan scored a power-play goal that briefly lifted New York into a 1-1 tie, Taylor Pyatt got the Rangers within three at 6:04 of the third, and Nash added a short-handed tally to make it 5-3 with 5:15 remaining.
SABRES 5, FLYERS 2
In Buffalo, N.Y., Thomas Vanek scored twice and added three assists in leading the Buffalo Sabres to a season-opening win over Philadelphia.
Defenseman Tyler Myers scored the go-ahead goal with 5:03 left after the Sabres overcame a 2-1 second-period deficit. Cody Hodgson and newly acquired forward Steve Ott also scored for the Sabres.
Vanek became the first Sabres player with five points in a game since Drew Stafford had three goals and two assists in January 2008.
Claude Giroux, with his second goal of the season, and Sean Couturier scored for the Flyers, who were coming off a 3-1 season-opening loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday.
This marks just the 10th time Philadelphia has opened 0-2.
SHARKS 4, FLAMES 1
In Calgary, Alberta, Patrick Marleau scored a pair of goals to lead the San Jose Sharks to a win over the Calgary Flames in the season-opener for both teams.
Martin Havlat and defenseman Dan Boyle also scored for the Sharks during a three-goal second period.
Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski each had a pair of assists.
Lee Stempniak scored for Calgary, which led 1-0 after the opening period.
The Sharks’ win spoiled the debut of new Flames coach Bob Hartley.
San Jose goaltender Antti Niemi made 31 saves for the win.