Scotty scores, and other Alaskans in the NHL, plus the Calgary connection

Posted by DOYLE WOODY, adn.com on October 3, 2013 

Veteran NHL center Scott Gomez of Anchorage has always been much more a playmaker than goal scorer -- well, except for that 33-goal, salary-drive season he had for New Jersey back in the day -- but he bagged a G tonight in his debut for the Florida Panthers, the fifth NHL team for which he has played.

Gomez roofed a backhander from the edge of the crease -- actually, from in the crease, but that's where the puck was, so it's all good -- in Florida's season-opening 4-2 win at Dallas. That's the 172nd regular-season NHL goal for the 33-year-old -- and, man, I can't believe I just typed that age for the kid The Blog always thinks of as a kid.

Gomez furnished two shots and a blocked shot in a modest 13:09 of ice time -- he played a regular shift with Scott Upshall and Drew Shore -- but only won 5 of 14 draws. Teammate Joey Crabb, the winger from Anchorage who like Gomez played for the Alaska Aces during the lockout last season, was a healthy scratch.

Nice way to start for Scotty. He only had four goals in 77 combined games the previous two seasons, the first with Montreal -- the Canadiens bought out his contract -- and last season with San Jose.

Defenseman Matt Carle of Anchorage and center Nate Thompson of Anchorage, both with the Tampa Bay Lightning, opened the season with a 3-1 loss at Boston.

Carle was -1 with three shots, two hits and two blocks in 21:58 of ice. Thompson hd three shots and a block in 9:20.

Former UAA winger Curtis Glencross of Calgary didn't get a point, but was even in a 5-4 shootout loss at Washington. He played 22:52, had two shots and four hits.

Remember, Calgary is the affiliate of the Aces, and the Flames didn't exactly protect a big lead in awesome fashion in their season opener. They led 4-1 halfway through the game, until Alexander Ovechkin got his groove on -- Ovechkin, who can kind of shoot the puck really hard and often, racked two goals, a helper and a shootout goal, and rifled 11 shots on goal to give him 20 shots in just two games.

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