New York Rangers defeat Buffalo Sabres, 6-3

BUFFALO - Derek Stepan said before the Rangers' opener Saturday night that he would try to play his NHL debut as if it were any other game.

It wound up being anything but that.

Stepan, a 20-year-old center, became the fourth player in NHL history to score a hat trick in his debut, beating reigning Vezina Trophy winner Ryan Miller three times as the Rangers opened their season with a resounding 6-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.

"I think I'm more excited than nervou...

BUFFALO - As the Rangers open their season Saturday night, it's understandable that 20-year-old center Derek Stepan says he is "excited, nervous, all of it" for his NHL debut. But he is far from alone as far as emotions go.

"You're a little more tense, a little more nervous the first game," said Henrik Lundqvist, who begins his sixth season with a marquee goaltending duel against the Sabres' Ryan Miller. "It's been a while since you've played at this level."