The Panthers dominated possession and field position for much of the game in a promising first-up performance.
Canberra, 2012 semi-finalists, never really found their groove.
In hot conditions before a vocal home crowd of 10,882 Penrith scored a five tries to two win.
Sika Manu, James Segeyaro, Lachlan Coote, Nathan Smith and Nigel Plum all scored tries for the Panthers, who finished second last in 2012.
Josh McCrone and Blake Ferguson touched down for the disappointing Raiders.
With a large influx of recruits including try-scorers Manu and Segeyaro, Penrith showed they will not be easybeats under coach Ivan Cleary this season.
Penrith halfback Luke Walsh was on song with the boot, kicking six from six.