NHL Game Summary - Vancouver at Detroit
(Thursday, October 5th)
Final Score: Vancouver 3, Detroit 1
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Roberto Luongo made 27 saves and Sami Salo tallied a goal and an assist, as Vancouver defeated Detroit, 3-1, in the season opener for both teams at Joe Louis Arena.
Luongo, who was acquired in a trade with the Florida Panthers in the offseason, was solid in between the pipes for the Canucks in his first game with the team.
"I felt I was sharp the whole game," said Luongo.
Markus Naslund and Trevor Linden also tallied for Vancouver, which gave new head coach Alain Vigneault his first win with the club in his first game behind the bench.
Henrik Zetterberg tallied the lone goal for the Red Wings, who won the Presidents' Trophy last season for having the league's best record.
Detroit finished the game 0-for-9 on the power play and surrendered two power- play goals to the Canucks.
Dominik Hasek, who backstopped the Red Wings to the Stanley Cup in 2002, returned as a free agent in the offseason for his third stint with the team and gave up three goals on 17 shots.
"We just didn't feel like we worked as a unit," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock. "I thought there was a separation of our forwards and our defense and I didn't think we came up and down the ice very well."
For the first time since the 1982-83 season, Detroit was without future Hall of Famer Steve Yzerman, who retired in the offseason.
The Canucks drew first blood and took a 1-0 lead with 4.5 seconds left in the opening period with a power-play goal. Kevin Bieksa slid the puck across to Salo at the left point and his one-timer deflected off Naslund in front and past a screened Hasek for the goal.
Vancouver went up 2-0 after scoring 2:25 into the second stanza. Josh Green unleashed a wrister from the high slot that Hasek stopped. Linden though controlled the rebound in front and slid the puck through the legs of Hasek.
Salo gave the Canucks a three-goal cushion 3:16 after Linden's goal. On the power play, Salo took a pass from Henrik Sedin at the top of the point and cranked a slap shot that tipped off Hasek's blocker and into the net to make it 3-0.
Detroit made it a 3-1 contest with 4:05 remaining in the second on Zetterberg's goal. From the left half-wall, Zetterberg fluttered a snap shot that managed to trickle past Luongo on the short side.
Midway through the final frame, Luongo made a sliding pad save on Zetterberg at the left side of the net to keep Vancouver's two-goal lead intact.
"I think after that save, it really was a huge confidence booster," said Luongo.
Detroit went on the power play with 6:43 left in the game, but could not get the puck past Luongo.
With just over a minute remaining in the contest the Red Wings pulled Hasek for an extra attacker and drew a penalty as Rory Fitzpatrick was whistled off for cross checking with 49 seconds left.
Detroit though took a penalty of its own seconds later to nullify the man advantage.
Vancouver went 2-for-4 on the power play...Daniel Sedin and Tommi Santala added assists for the Canucks...Linden's goal was his 300th with Vancouver...Mikael Samuelsson picked up an assist for Detroit...The Red Wings named defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom captain before the game.
10/05 22:33:26 ET