Icing off the cake; Red Wings 3, Blackhawks 2; Wings play party poopers at the UC after festivities
The stage -- rather, the ice -- was set for a magical, memorable evening. Banner unveilings and raisings commemorating amazing years such as the Blackhawks' last season always will do that.
All the Hawks had to do was deliver when the puck was dropped against the rival Detroit Red Wings on Saturday to make it a truly extraordinary day.
Those Red Wings, though, showed they're still a daunting challenge, ruining the Hawks' festivities with a 3-2 victory before a packed house at the United Center.
''[A win] just would have been icing on the cake,'' center Jonathan Toews said. ''Everyone that was in the building tonight would remember that moment before the game. Officially bringing the [Stanley] Cup to the United Center, it was a pretty cool thing. But we got past that pretty quick and had a great start to the game and hung in there. It's the little details to our game. That's a really good team out there. We know that. They're always going to be a tough team.''
Overall, it was a better game for the Hawks than their season opener Thursday against the Colorado Avalanche in Denver. But breakdowns still marred the decision.
Valtteri Filppula had two goals and Todd Bertuzzi also scored for the Red Wings, who were coming off a victory Friday against the Anaheim Ducks. On his first goal, Filppula was all alone next to goalie Marty Turco and redirected in a long pass from Johan Franzen. His second goal, the eventual game-winner, came after he skated around defenseman John Scott, who lost an edge and fell, during a Red Wings power play.
''I don't know what happened ... I went to cross over and just bailed,'' Scott said. ''I was just hoping it doesn't go in the net and I can get back into the play. I got burnt. You can't do that against good teams like this.''
Turco made 23 saves and had anticipated a sliding Niklas Hjalmarsson to help prevent Filppula's second goal.
''It was a couple of mistakes on my part that cost us the game,'' Turco said. ''It was kind of a broken play. He did whiff on it, and our defenseman slid. I made the assumption it was going to get stuck underneath him.''
''It's disappointing not to give the fans what they deserve, especially on a night like this,'' Turco said. ''They're just a tough team.''
The Red Wings are a popular pick to poach what the Hawks won last season. They're a deep and veteran-laden team, and they're healthy. The addition of future Hall of Famer Mike Modano and the return of former 23-goal scorer Jiri Hudler from Russia only make them more formidable.
''The core they have in place is pretty special,'' winger Patrick Kane said. ''They've been great players for a while. But when you add pieces like that to the puzzle, it's only going to help a team like that.
''Hudler has been there before. He's probably comfortable. Modano has been an unbelievable player for a lot of years. It's someone I even looked up to as a kid, and I'm sure he's loving it there in his hometown. There is a lot of excitement for that team. They're a good team.''
The Hawks might be the team to beat. But the Red Wings are the measuring stick in terms of continued success in the NHL. They have had their fair share of banner raisings.
RED WINGS 3 BLACKHAWKS 2
The Hawks couldn't get the equalizer in the third period despite having three power plays. The Red Wings took the lead on Valtteri Filppula's second goal of the game six minutes into the third period. It was a fluky play that saw defenseman John Scott fall, Filppula whiff on the shot and goalie Marty Turco miss the save. Chris Osgood made 26 saves to get the win for the Wings.
Bryan Bickell scored his second goal of the season 1:49 into the second period. Bickell also had eight hits. The fourth line of center Jake Dowell and wingers Jack Skille and Viktor Stalberg was strong all game. All three of their minutes increased from the season opener against the Colorado Avalanche. Brent Seabrook scored on the power play for the Hawks.
''It would have been awesome to get a win tonight and give the fans a salute. But we'll be doing that often enough pretty soon.''
Detroit 1 1 1--3
BLACKHAWKS 1 1 0--2
First Period--1, Detroit, V.Filppula 1 (Franzen, Bertuzzi), 12:59. 2, HAWKS, Seabrook 1 (Hossa, Brouwer), 19:57 (pp). Penalties--Salei, Det (hooking), 18:34.
Second Period--3, Detroit, Bertuzzi 1 (Stuart, Rafalski), 1:12. 4, HAWKS, Bickell 2 (Bolland, Kane), 1:49. Penalties--Seabrook, Chi (interference), 3:29; Rafalski, Det (tripping), 6:39; Hossa, Chi (hooking), 16:40.
Third Period--5, Detroit, V.Filppula 2 (Hudler, Lidstrom), 6:01 (pp). Penalties--Boynton, Chi (holding), 3:34; Bolland, Chi (hooking), 4:49; Kronwall, Det (interference), 7:07; Kindl, Det (holding), 9:53; Bertuzzi, Det (holding), 13:06.
Shots on Goal--Detroit 9-6-11--26. HAWKS 12-8-8--28.
Power-play opportunities--Detroit 1 of 4; HAWKS 1 of 5.
Goalies--Detroit, Osgood 1-0-0 (28 shots-26 saves). HAWKS, Turco 0-1-1 (26-23).
Referees--Paul Devorski, Gord Dwyer. Linesmen--Brian Murphy, Tim Nowak.
A--22,161 (19,717). T--2:20.