CALGARY, Alberta After waiting more than three months to start their season, the Sharks waited 20 minutes more.
After a dismal first period, San Jose came on strong Sunday behind the stellar goaltending of Antti Niemi to win its lockout-delayed opener 4-1 over the Calgary Flames at a sold-out Saddledome.
"Our goaltender allowed us to find our legs and a little more of our timing," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said of Niemi, who made 15 of his 31 saves before the first intermission.
Three of San Jose's goals, two by Patrick Marleau and one by Martin Havlat, came within 4:18 of the second period as the Sharks took control.
Penguins 6, Rangers 3 in New York James Neal scored twice, Evgeni Malkin assisted on three Pittsburgh goals, and the Penguins chased reigning Vezina Trophy winner Henrik Lundqvist from the net in the second period.
Wild 1, Stars 0 in St. Paul, Minn. Zach Parise scored his first goal with Minnesota, and Josh Harding stopped all 24 shots he faced in his first start since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
TV ratings NBC's broadcast Saturday earned the highest preliminary rating for a non-Winter Classic regular-season game since 2002. The network said its regional coverage of Blackhawks-Kings and Penguins-Flyers averaged a 2.0 overnight rating.
That's up 67 percent from the average for regular-season games on NBC last season.