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What you need to know: Day 4

--Let’s start with the reunion of Ryan Suter and his former teammates from Nashville in Minnesota. This won’t have the emotional charge of Suter’s much-anticipated return to downtown Nashville on March 9, but you know that Suter’s old mates were looking for a little payback after he chased a giant payday to Minnesota as a free agent last summer, signing a 13-year deal worth $98 million. The Preds got their wish after they gave up an early goal to Zach Parise, shutting out the Wild the rest of the way en route to a 3-1 victory. It was the Preds’ first win after two shootout losses; backup Chris Mason got his first start and was solid in his return to Nashville after spending the past couple of seasons in Atlanta and Winnipeg. Mason turned aside 29 of 30 shots in the first of seven straight on the road for the Predators. Suter was on ice for all three Nashville goals and has yet to record a point for 2-1-0 Wild.

--If Wild-Preds was about emotion, Chicago-St. Louis was about the undefeated. Both Central Division teams were 2-0 when they collided Tuesday night at the United Center in Chicago, and the Blackhawks staked an early claim to Central superiority with a 3-2 victory. The Hawks built a 3-0 lead and then had to hold off a never-say-die Blues team in the third as St. Louis launched 16 shots in the final frame on Corey Crawford. The game represented another building block for Crawford, as he tries to erase a pedestrian turn in the playoffs last spring. He is now 2-0 and his wins have come against defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles and Cup hopeful St. Louis. Blues rookie sensation Vladimir Tarasenko was held without a point.

--The Detroit Red Wings' early-season offensive struggles continued at Joe Louis Arena Tuesday night as they were stymied by a red-hot Kari Lehtonen and the Dallas Stars, who spoiled the Wings’ home opener with a 2-1 win. Lehtonen stopped 39 of 40 shots and Michael Ryder scored both Dallas goals to drop Detroit to 1-2 on a night when the Wings honored longtime crease presence Tomas Holmstrom, who formally announced his retirement Tuesday after a career that included four Stanley Cup wins. The Wings have been outscored 11-5 and while Damien Brunner did score his first goal, the Wings are going to need some other forwards to show themselves or they are going to be quickly buried in the Central. For the 2-1-0 Stars, Cody Eakin, who came over from Washington in the Mike Ribeiro deal, added assists on both Ryder goals.

--Guess we can hold off on that Stanley Cup parade in downtown Edmonton for a little while as the young Oilers got a lesson in humility when San Jose poured six first-period goals past Devan Dubnyk en route to a 6-3 victory. Much anticipation surrounded the talent-rich Oilers as this season began, but if there was a significant question mark it was team defense and goaltending. Suffice it to say, those questions have yet to be fully answered. The Oilers are 1-1 and it will be interesting to see how Dubnyk, being given a chance to prove he’s starter material, responds to this debacle. The Sharks, meanwhile, are in an early groove, having outscored opponents 10-4 while going 2-0.

--The defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings are still looking for their first win after giving up three third-period goals in a 3-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. Semyon Varlamov continued to give the 1-1 Avs strong goaltending, turning aside 28 of 29 shots. P.A. Parenteau, a key offseason signing by Colorado, scored his first goal.

--Things have officially turned ugly for the Philadelphia Flyers as they dropped to 0-3-0 on the season with a 3-0 loss in New Jersey to the Devils. Martin Brodeur (do we even need to say "ageless" anymore?) was solid, although he faced only 24 Flyers shots in helping the Devils to a 2-0 start. Ilya Kovalchuk scored on a penalty shot -- must admit we weren’t sold on the call that led to the opportunity that gave the Devils a 3-0 lead early in the second -- but the Flyers have only themselves to blame as they’ve been outscored 11-3 thus far. Remember all that depth scoring that made the Flyers so dangerous last season? Right now it’s still on lockout.

--Joining the Flyers in the "what the heck?" category would be the Washington Capitals, who are now 0-2-0 after a surprisingly flat effort at home against Winnipeg, as the Jets handled Washington 4-2. The Jets (1-1-1) got a much-needed road win thanks to two power-play goals, and it’s clear there are still some adjustments for the Caps under rookie coach Adam Oates. Braden Holtby is 0-2 with a .863 save percentage and it’s hard to believe we won’t see Michal Neuvirth next as the Caps try to get in a groove.

--Many folks liked the revamped Carolina Hurricanes to challenge for a Southeast Division title, but they’re struggling to correct problems that plagued them early last season before Paul Maurice was replaced by Kirk Muller. The Canes dropped their second straight game, losing at home 4-1 to Tampa Bay. Muller told us before the season that he was hopeful a strong finish would carry over, but Cam Ward gave up four goals on 26 shots and Carolina could not solve Tampa backup Mathieu Garon, who stopped 35 of 36 shots. Carolina has been outscored 9-2 early in this season. Tampa, meanwhile, continues to get terrific production from youngster Cory Conacher, who scored and has five points playing mostly with captain Vincent Lecavalier.

--Finally, another Southeast Division team struggling early is Florida, as the Panthers dropped their second in two nights, this one a 4-1 decision to Montreal at the Bell Centre, to go to 1-2. The Panthers are nicked up without Kris Versteeg and Erik Gudbranson. The Habs, slow-footed and ineffective in an opening-night loss to Toronto on Saturday, had much more jump Tuesday as top-rated rookie Alex Galchenyuk scored his first NHL goal and Andrei Markov, injured for much of the past three seasons, had two for Montreal. The win will take a little pressure off GM Marc Bergevin as he tries to re-sign restricted free-agent defenseman P.K. Subban.