Mike Richter made 29 saves as the New York Rangers played to a 1-1 tie with the host Edmonton Oilers in an NHL season opener last night featuring the retirement of Wayne Gretzky's jersey.
The sweater of hockey's greatest player was raised to the rafters of the building he made famous before his family, ex-teammates and more than 17,000 screaming, cheering fans.
The simple blue banner bearing Gretzky's name, number and the team's oil drop logo was lifted to the ceiling following an eye-popping light show and video extravaganza highlighted by Gretzky's greatest goals being replayed on the Jumbotron.
Then Richter put on a show of his own as the Oilers and Rangers opened the NHL season.
Richter was at his best in the third period, not giving up a goal as the Oilers outshot the Rangers, 13-2.
"He was brilliant," said Rangers Coach John Muckler. "He saved the game for us. He's the guy. No question about it."
Ryan Smyth opened the scoring for the Oilers at 1 minute 57 seconds of the second period, then Tim Taylor tied it for the Rangers less than five minutes later.
The game featured the first regular season overtime to be played with four skaters per side. Each team had two shots on goal in the extra period.
* STARS 6, PENGUINS 4: After celebrating an NHL title won with a gritty defense, Dallas showed why it believes it can repeat as champion with a juiced-up offense.
Mike Modano scored twice and Brett Hull and Joe Nieuwendyk each had a goal and two assists as host Dallas beat Pittsburgh.
Defenseman Richard Matvichuk ended a summer-long holdout by signing a four-year deal hours before the game. In addition, goaltender Ed Belfour has agreed to a two-year extension. Belfour gave up a goal on the first shot he saw, then settled down.