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Tampa Bay celebrates with opening victory

The Tampa Bay Lightning finally got a chance to celebrate their Stanley Cup victory with their fans.

The Lightning raised a giant championship banner during an emotional ceremony, then began the defense of their title with a 5-2 victory over the Carolina Panthers.

''This is great. We talked about getting closure. I think we all needed that," playoff star Brad Richards said. ''It's been a while. It's not our Cup anymore. We saw it tonight for the last time, and now we'll fight like the other teams to try to get it."

Vinny Prospal scored on the Lightning's first shot and assisted on goals by Dan Boyle and Vincent Lecavalier to help the Lightning build a 4-2 lead.

Tim Taylor and Richards also scored for the Lightning. John Grahame stopped 24 shots in his first start since the departure of Nikolai Khabibulin, who signed with Chicago.

Radim Vrbata scored an unassisted goal for Carolina in the first period. The Hurricanes also got an unassisted goal from Eric Staal to trim Tampa Bay's lead to 3-2 early in the second period.

Panthers 2, Thrashers 0 -- Roberto Luongo made 34 saves for his 24th career shutout and Nathan Horton and Lucas Krajicek scored in the third period to lift host Florida.

Luongo, who had seven shutouts and a league-record 2,303 saves during the NHL's pre-lockout season of 2003-04, made 10 stops during a five-minute shorthanded stretch of the third period, holding up a 1-0 lead.

Senators 3, Maple Leafs 2 -- Daniel Alfredsson scored twice in the final six minutes of regulation and once during the first shootout in NHL history as Ottawa rallied over visiting Toronto.

Alfredsson tied the game at 2 with 1:02 left in regulation, sending the game to overtime. After a scoreless five-minute extra period, Alfredsson scored on Ottawa's first attempt as the teams played under the new shootout rules.

Rangers 5, Flyers 3 -- Jaromir Jagr scored a pair of power-play goals in the third period, leading New York in Philadelphia.

Jason Strudwick, Jamie Lundmark, and Marcel Hossa also scored for the Rangers, who overcame a two-goal deficit with four straight goals.

Stars 5, Kings 4 -- In Dallas, Philippe Boucher capped a comeback from an early four-goal deficit with a shot that went in off a Los Angeles defenseman with 4:46 left.

The Kings beat Dallas goaltender Marty Turco with their first, third, and fifth shots. Newly acquired Jeremy Roenick scored twice as Los Angeles went up, 3-0, after just 4:18. Dustin Brown stretched the lead by scoring with 8.1 seconds left in the period.

Canucks 3, Coyotes 2 -- Markus Naslund scored two goals and Dan Cloutier made 16 of his 30 saves in the first period as host Vancouver spoiled Wayne Gretzky's coaching debut.

Mattias Ohlund also scored and Brendan Morrison had two assists for the Canucks, who led, 2-0, after two periods.

Mighty Ducks 5, Blackhawks 3 -- Anaheim got power-play goals from Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer -- their big free agent acquisitions -- and Jeffrey Lupul added two more at Chicago. Two of Anaheim's goals were shorthanded.

Sabres 6, Islanders 4 -- Daniel Briere scored two goals and set up another, leading Buffalo past visiting New York.

Maxim Afinogenov scored twice, J.P. Dumont had a goal and an assist, and Brian Campbell added a goal in a game in which Buffalo never trailed.

Capitals 3, Blue Jackets 2 -- Alexander Ovechkin became the first Washington player to score twice in his NHL debut as the hosts beat Columbus.

Dainius Zubrus also scored for the Capitals and new captain Jeff Halpern had three assists in a game that included 18 penalties.

Predators 3, Sharks 2 -- Scott Hartnell broke a tie with 4:13 left and Tomas Vokoun stopped 22 shots to help Nashville beat visiting San Jose.

Paul Kariya scored his first goal in a Nashville uniform and Scott Walker also scored.

Red Wings 5, Blues 1 -- Pavel Datsyuk had a goal and an assist in the first seven minutes and host Detroit went on to beat St. Louis.

The game turned into a rout in the second period when Detroit scored three goals while St. Louis took just three shots.

Oilers 4, Avalanche 3 -- Shawn Horcoff scored 24 seconds into the game, then added the winner with 3:18 to play and host Edmonton beat Colorado.

Wild 6, Flames 3 -- Marc Chouinard scored three goals and Todd White added a goal and two assists, leading host Minnesota past Calgary.

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