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Pens begin season by beating Canucks in shootout

Kris Letang scored the winner in the shootout 3 win over the reigning champion Vancouver Canucks.

With Pittsburgh's first shot, Letang skated in and lifted a backhander over Roberto Luongo. After Marc-Andre Fleury stopped Alex Burrows backhander with the glove. Evgeni Malkin sealed the win when he waited out Luongo and from the left side buried the puck into the open net.

Matt Cooke scored twice while James Neal had the other goal in regulation for the Penguins, who finished last season fourth in the Eastern Conference with 106 points, but were defeated in seven games by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the opening round of the playoffs.

Fleury stopped 33 shots and both shooters he faced in the shootout.

Absent from the Pittsburgh lineup was superstar Sidney Crosby, who has not played since January due to a concussion and opens the season on injured reserve as his return date is still up in the air. He did travel with the team, but is not likely to play on the swing.

Daniel Sedin, Keith Ballard and Maxim Lapierre all scored goals for the Canucks, who went to the Stanley Cup finals last season, but lost a Game 7 at home to the Boston Bruins.

Luongo, a Vezina finalist last season, made 25 stops and allowed both shooters to score in the shootout.