Sun, Oct 07, 2007 - Page 23 News List

NFL: Hurricanes keep young Pittsburgh stars in check

AP , RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA

The Anaheim Ducks' Ilya Bryzgalov, left, makes a save against the Columbus Blue Jackets' Jason Chimera during the second period of their NHL game on Friday in Columbus, Ohio. The Blue Jackets won 4-0.

PHOTO: AP

Eric Staal scored two first-period goals as the Carolina Hurricanes spoiled Pittsburgh's season opener with a 4-1 victory on Friday.

Cam Ward stopped 33 shots and took a shutout into the final minutes, Jeff Hamilton had a goal and two assists and Andrew Ladd also scored for the Hurricanes, who earned their first victory by frustrating two of the Penguins' young stars.

Mark Recchi scored for Pittsburgh, but goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was peppered for two periods and Sidney Crosby was neutralized in the 20-year-old's first game as Pittsburgh captain.

The reigning league MVP and youngest player to wear the captain's jersey in NHL history, Crosby was held to one shot in 19:27 of ice time after entering with an average of one point per game in eight meetings with Carolina. Fleury allowed goals on two of the first eight shots he faced, finishing with 22 saves before he was benched during the second intermission.

Blue Jackets 4, Ducks 0

In Columbus, Ohio, Rick Nash had two goals and a career-best four points to help Columbus beat road-weary Anaheim.

Sergei Fedorov and Ron Hainsey each added a power-play goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets, opening their first full season under coach Ken Hitchcock.

The defending Stanley Cup champion Ducks looked tired and disorganized for the first two periods. They opened the season with two games in London -- England, not Ontario -- last weekend. They flew to Detroit on Wednesday before traveling on to Columbus.

Islanders 6, Sabres 4b

In Buffalo, New York, Mike Comrie scored twice and had two assists in his Islanders debut, helping New York beat Buffalo and open with a victory for the first time since 2001.

Ruslan Fedotenko had a goal and two assists, including the 100th of his career, and Bill Guerin added three assists, while Comrie's four-point game matched a career high. Chris Campoli and Josef Vasicek also scored for New York.

Comrie, who finished last season with Ottawa, centered a newcomer line -- Fedotenko played in Tampa Bay and Guerin in San Jose -- that's finding instant chemistry, and might make Islanders fans forget the team losing Ryan Smyth and Jason Blake last summer.

Capitals 3, Thrashers 1

In Atlanta, Michael Nylander and John Erskine scored two goals in a 2-minute span in the first period to lead Washington over Atlanta.

Viktor Kozlov added a goal in the third for the Capitals.

Brent Johnson stopped 28 shots for the Capitals, who outshot the Thrashers 40-29.

Atlanta was 5-1-2 against Washington while winning the Southeast Division last season, but the Thrashers' big scorers Ilya Kovalchuk and Marian Hossa couldn't break through in this opener.

The Thrashers' only goal was scored by rookie Bryan Little in his NHL debut.

Stars 4, Bruins 1

In Dallas, Brenden Morrow scored off an assist from Mike Modano as Dallas improved to 8-0-1 in its last nine home openers by beating Boston.

While Modano got career point No. 1,227, five shy of matching Phil Housley for the most by a US-born player, rookie defenseman Matt Niskanen assisted on the first two Dallas goals. Sergei Zubov had a goal and an assist.

The Stars, who started the season with a loss at Colorado on Wednesday, won their fifth straight home opener.

Sharks 3, Canucks 1

In Vancouver, British Columbia, Jeremy Roenick scored twice -- the 496th and 497th goals of his career -- to lead San Jose over Vancouver.

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