Mario Lemieux returned from a 17-month layoff to assist on four power-play goals and Ron Francis and Tomas Sandstrom had two goals apiece as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Toronto Maple Leafs, 8-3, Saturday night at Pittsburgh.
Lemieux, the four-time NHL scoring champion who sat out last season for health reasons, had a goal wiped out by a penalty and missed several tap-in attempts in his first regular-season game since April 11, 1994. He had six shots on goal.
"I've been nervous for a couple of days, but it was real exciting to be back on the ice," Lemieux said. "I've had a few comebacks in my career, but it is always special to come back."
Lemieux, playing in the 600th game of his career, sat out last season after five years of recurring back pain and a bout with Hodgkin's disease.
The Devils got two goals from John MacLean and a flawless performance from goaltender Martin Brodeur as they spoiled the coaching debut of Florida's Doug MacLean.
Winnipeg 7, Dallas 5--Igor Korolev scored three goals, helping the Jets open their final season in Winnipeg with a victory over the Stars.
Philadelphia 7, Montreal 1--The Flyers chased goaltender Patrick Roy and won at Montreal on a night the Canadiens retired jersey No. 1 worn by legendary goaltender Jacques Plante three decades ago.
Roy, their current goaltending star, left the game at 2:12 of the second period for rookie Patrick Labrecque after giving up five goals on 15 shots. The six-goal deficit was the Canadiens' worst defeat in a season opener.
Buffalo 3, Ottawa 1--Brad May scored on a freakish deflection with 5:59 remaining in regulation at Ottawa to give the Sabres a victory. May took a slashing swipe at a hard slap shot and redirected the puck perfectly behind Ottawa goaltender Don Beaupre to make the score 2-1.
Washington 4, St. Louis 1--Jim Carey stopped 17 shots and Pat Peake had a goal and an assist, leading the Capitals to a season-opening victory over the Blues at Landover, Md.
Hartford 2, New York Rangers 0--Sean Burke made 37 saves in earning his first shutout since January 1994 as the Whalers won at Hartford.
Calgary 3, Tampa Bay 3--James Patrick and Mike Sullivan scored third-period goals and Trevor Kidd made two tough saves in overtime as the Flames rallied from a two-goal deficit to tie the Lightning at St. Petersburg, Fla.
Chicago 4, San Jose 3--Chris Chelios broke a tie late in the third period at San Jose as rookie Blackhawk Coach Craig Hartsburg got his first NHL victory.
Disgruntled Ottawa center Alexei Yashin, in a contract dispute with the Senators, joined Central Red Army's lineup in a game against the Soviet Wings in Moscow, prompting Ottawa General Manager Randy Sexton to notify the NHL. "Clearly his agent [Mark Gandler] has stepped outside the boundaries of a dispute between a team and a player and it has now entered the international ring," Sexton said.