Opening Night in the NHL Marked by a Bevy of Highlight-Reel Goals – Yahoo Sports

If Wednesday was any indication of what we can expect to see this season in the NHL, well, prepare to be spoiled, hockey fans.

The Maple Leafs and Canadiens kicked things off in Toronto, with John Tavares potting his first goal in a Leafs jersey. As newsworthy as that moment was, it was the tally beforehand that caught our eye.

Auston Matthews welcomed us all to the 2018-19 season with this gorgeous power play snipe from the face-off dot:

Auston Matthews gets on the board! https://t.co/KkZGLBU1aJ pic.twitter.com/0FXxR9tKjy

— SI NHL (@SI_NHL) October 3, 2018

Oh, and he added another in overtime to seal the win for Toronto, giving him seven goals in three career Opening Night games.

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The Capitals raised their Stanley Cup banner in D.C., and they followed it up with a 7-0 whooping of the Bruins. That’s a lot of goals to sort through, but perhaps this spinning backhand from Nic Dowd made enough of a statement as Washington began its title defense:

Dowd nets his first with the @Capitals for a 4-0 lead. pic.twitter.com/F5AROy1fDp

— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) October 4, 2018

Out West, Canucks forward Jake Virtanen showcased some unbelievably soft hands, getting sprung from the penalty box, out racing Flames defenseman Mark Giordano and slipping the puck five-hole on Mike Smith.

Jake Virtanen getting in on tonight’s Highlight Reel goal-fest pic.twitter.com/yEtkqmpzYZ

— Autumnal Blinn (@NHLBlinn) October 4, 2018

(Elias Pettersson’s goal, an absolute snipe on the first shot of his NHL career, wasn’t too shabby, either.)

Virtanen’s tally gave Vancouver a 4-1 lead in an eventual 5-2 win.

The goal of the night, however, goes to Sharks forward Tomas Hertl. The Czech forward submitted a candidate for Goal of the Year that will leave the rest of the league playing catch-up.

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