3 things we learned in the NHL: Letang back on track after injury

The Toronto Maple Leafs were humbled, a veteran NHLer suited up with the Flames for the first time and an oft-injured Penguins defenceman found the back of the net.

Here are three things we learned in the NHL on Wednesday night.

Letang scores for first time in eight months
Kris Letang can breathe a sigh of relief.

The Pittsburgh Penguins offensive defenceman found the back of the net for the first time since Feb. 4 with a first-period goal against the Washington Capitals.

Letang missed the last two months of the 2016-17 regular season and all of the Penguins’ Stanley Cup winning run due to a herniated disk in his neck, which required surgery to repair.

The oft-injured 30-year-old is a key cog on the Pittsburgh blue line and finished last year with five goals. His career high is 16 goals, which he achieved in 2015-16.

Pittsburgh continued its dominance over the Capitals with a 3-2 victory after eliminating them from the Stanley Cup Playoffs last spring for a second straight season.

Matthews, Hischier square off in battle of No. 1s
The last two No. 1 overall draft picks squared off for the first time with Auston Matthews taking the upper hand on the scoresheet, but not the win column.

Matthews, selected first overall by the Maple Leafs in the 2016 NHL Draft, cut into a third period deficit with a power-play goal against the New Jersey Devils. Toronto was unable to come all the way back and ended up falling 6-3.

Matthews now has points in all four games this season.

Nico Hischier, meanwhile, was fairly quiet for the Devils, who took him with their No. 1 pick in June after winning the draft lottery. The Swiss native was held without a point and logged 14:03.

Leafs fans will have to hold off on planning their Stanley Cup parade on Yonge Street just yet as the team suffered its first loss of the season.

The Devils, meanwhile, remain undefeated at 3-0-0, but fans are being warned to not get too excited just yet.

Jagr makes his Flames debut
Jaromir Jagr started his 24th NHL season on Wednesday night and first as a member of the Calgary Flames.

The 45-year-old signed with the Flames last week and sat out Calgary’s first three games of the season while getting into game shape.

Jagr played on a line with Sam Bennett and Kris Versteeg — and at times Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan — against the Los Angeles Kings. He was held pointless as the Flames won 4-3 in overtime.

The Czech forward entered the season — his first with a Canadian NHL club — with 1,914 points, which is second to only Wayne Gretzky in NHL history.

Article source: http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/3-things-learned-nhl-letang-back-track-injury/

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