Last night, as the clocked ticked toward midnight (CDT), Evgeni Malkin skated toward Roberto Lunongo with the puck on his stick in a skills competition and lifted it past the sprawling goalkeeper to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks and you knew that hockey was back.
It was the last game of three for the night after Philadelphia has spoiled Boston's opening night banner raising celebration with a 2-1 win and Toronto had surprisingly shut out the Habs with a 2-0 victory where ex-Pred Matthew Lombardi scored the game winning goal and James Reimer pitched a shutout.
The action picks up early today in Europe with Anaheim and Buffalo and the Rangers and Kings playing at noon CDT.
Tonight, the Predators play at Columbus and here is our preview from earlier. The puck drop is at 6 p.m. and will be on FS TN.
Make the jump for today's news and links...
Game 1 - Preds at Columbus...
Ryan Porth brings the Morning Skate to Smashville 24/7. Other game one previews come from Amanda DiPaolo, Dirk Hoag, Robby Stanley, David Boclair, and Josh Cooper.
Game Previews from Ohio come from the Columbus Dispatch, The Dark Blue Jacket, and The Cannon.
In Pred Nation...
Wear your Predator Gold today - @PredsNHL: Season Opener version of Preds Pride tomorrow wear your favorite gold Preds jersey or shirt. Send in your pics to #PredsPride
Here's the Mike Organ report from Thursday's Preds practice that included Pekka coming down with the flu.
Josh Cooper discusses the Preds' success this season being tied to the rookies.
J.R. Lind breaks news that Willie Daunic is out at 104.5 but will remain with the Predators' broadcast team.
George Scoville has an informative piece about the Predators' ticket sales success.
Tom Callahan wraps up training camp with Barry Trotz in this audio clip. He also continues with his Central Division round-up of team previews.
Craig Custance sees a bright future for the Predators at ESPN ($).
After weeks of analyses Dirk Hoag ties it all together in his Preds' season preview.
Josh Farrar previews the Preds' forwards at The Hockey Writers.
Mark Willoughby never runs out of things to say in his weekly "My View."
John Manasso has the story about Nashville and Carolina sharing the Atlanta TV market that the Thrashers left behind.
Predatorial has their Western Conference Preview.
PredGold has some predictions and where are they now for ex-Preds.
Lady Pred has the news of Pekka Rinne being named one of Nashville's 25 most beautiful people.
Kirk Muller is ready to set sail in Milwaukee
Jeremy and the Section 303 gang will be in Columbus tonight but arraigned for a special viewing party at Brewhouse South before they left.
Interesting fact from @ESPN_Burnside: Pens coach Dan Bylsma telling reporters that he and the entire team watch all of Brendan Shanahan's videos together.
Around the NHL....
The Coyotes signed Martin Hanzal to a 5 year, $15.5 million deal.
Adam Proteau has ten players who may be playing their last season.
On the other end of the spectrum, Kevin Allen has 20 rookies to watch that includes three Predators.
The Daily Morning Skate is back at RLD Hockey. It's always a good way to start the day. Ryan also looks at hockey's return in Winnipeg tonight.
On Goal Analysis has an interesting look at the first ten games for all 30 teams.
Puck Daddy's Western Conference predictions from their entire staff is out.
Last night's game in Toronto was a long way back for Matt Lombardi and Max Pacioretty.
Russ Cohen has power ratings for the Calder Trophy.
Canada's Junior Team's chances have taken a hit with twelve under 20 eligible players on NHL rosters to start the year.
Ilya Kovalchuk is helping raise funds for the families of the Lokomotiv hockey team.
So now Glen Sather says that Sean Avery could be recalled at some point. Get your stories straight folks!
Here's a link to add Adrian Dater's Hockey Talk to your iPod.
Aaron Boogaard's felony charge has been dismissed.
Steve Lepore has news of upgrades at NHL Network.
The Buffalo Sabres named Jason Pominville the new team captain.
Here is the NHL staff's picks of who to follow on Twitter.
Odds and Ends...
Honeycomb is supposed to be released for Google TV soon. I can't wait. Our New Sony Google TV is ready and waiting.
"Researchers" say an event can be followed by watching Tweets about the game . Duh! I hope they didn't get too big a government grant to figure that out.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass