NHL Game Summary - Anaheim at Chicago
(Wednesday, October 5th)
Final Score: Anaheim 5, Chicago 3
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Joffrey Lupul had two goals, including a shorthanded tally, to lead Anaheim past Chicago, 5-3, in the season opener for both clubs at the United Center.
The NHL returned throughout the nation Wednesday night after closing its doors on the 2004-05 campaign.
Scott Niedermayer and his brother, Rob Niedermayer, both scored and Teemu Selanne lit the lamp for the Mighty Ducks, who gave new head coach Randy Carlyle his first NHL win. Carlyle took over for Mike Babcock behind the Ducks' bench.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 36 of the 39 shots he faced in the win. The Mighty Ducks improved to 3-9-0 all-time in season openers.
Mark Bell, Curtis Brown and Rene Bourque had a goal apiece for Chicago. The Blackhawks, who are 34-28-17 all-time in season openers, introduced their new offseason addition in goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin.
The Bulin Wall was solid despite the loss, stopping 19-of-24 shots. Khabibulin anchored the Tampa Bay Lightning to the 2003-04 NHL championship.
Former Chicago backstop Jocelyn Thibault signed with Pittsburgh in the offseason.
Wednesday's game also marked the head coaching debut for Chicago's Trent Yawney, who was tabbed boss after Brian Sutter was relieved of his duties.
Lupul's second goal of the game 2:19 into the second period staked Anaheim to a 3-1 cushion. Lupul was covered closely by a Chicago defenseman along the left boards, but managed to wrist a shot from in close past Khabibulin.
"It was exciting to be back there," Lupul said. "The crowd was wild. I think everyone's legs were there tonight."
Brown, though, stopped the three-goal flurry with a score at 8:40 of the second.
Scott Niedermayer, who was signed to a deal in the offseason, scored on the power play less than a minute later on a nice feed from star forward Sergei Fedorov.
Bourque notched his first NHL goal with the extra skater at the 16:04 mark of the second period to make it 4-3, but Rob Niedermayer gave Anaheim some breathing room with a shorthanded goal 1:40 into the third period.
Bell got the Blackhawks on the scoreboard first at 8:22 of the opening period, but Anaheim tied the game on Selanne's power-play goal 3:11 later.
Lupul then gave the Mighty Ducks the lead with an unassisted shorthanded goal at 17:30 of the first period.
Anaheim was 2-for-9 on the power play, while the Blackhawks ended 1-for-9.
10/05 23:33:30 ET