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Former Red Wing Robert Lang scored in the final four minutes of regulation and Chicago's #1 draft pick Patrick Kane tallied the lone goal in a shootout to give the Blackhawks a 4-3 come from behind victory over Central Division rival Detroit in their home opener Saturday at the United Center.
Lang, who was signed by the Hawks as a free agent after three seasons with the Wings, tied the score at 16:20 of the 3rd with a 28-foot shot over the glove of goalie Dominik Hasek.
Neither team scored in the overtime frame and in the shootout Hawks coach Denis Savard tapped Kane, the #1 pick in the 2007 Draft, to take his team's first shot. The 18-year old beat the veteran Hasek with a backhander to his glove side. Also, Kane picked up his first NHL point when he assisted on Tuomo Ruutu's 2nd period goal.
All three Detroit shooters failed to score on Chicago goalie Nikolai Khabibulin. Pavel Datsyuk hit the goal post; Henrik Zetterberg's shot went over the net; and Khabibulin stopped Jiri Hudler.
Savard called it a great win and said it was for the memory of team owner William Wirtz, who passed away last week. His 78th birthday would have been yesterday.
Savard called Kane a special kid who will provide a lot of excitement for his team and its fans.
Detroit, defending Central Division and Western Conference champs, took 7 of 8 from the Hawks last season with the lone Chicago decision coming in a shootout April 5 at the United Center.
The Red Wings took the lead on a power play at 5:37 of the opening period when Brian Rafalski's 40-foot screen shot beat Khabibulin.
The visitors made it 2-0 early in the 2nd period when Zetterberg won a key faceoff in the Hawk zone and All-Star defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom blasted a 50-footer into the upper left corner of the net.
Midway through the period, Ruutu got passes from rookie Kane and Magnus Johansson to fire an 8-footer past Hasek. It was the first NHL points for both Kane and Johansson.
A minute later, Detroit made it 3-1 on their 2nd power play goal when Tomas Holmstrom tipped Rafalski's long shot through Khabibulin's pads.
At the start of the 3rd period Chicago's Kevyn Adams was stopped on a shorthanded breakaway by Hasek.The Hawks caught a break seconds later on the same Detroit power play when the referee waived off a Detroit goal because the whistle had been blown.
A holding penalty to Kane at 2:22 gave the Hawks an opportunity to score a shorthanded goal. Adams broke out on a 2-on-1 and defenseman James Wisniewski fired a 20-footer past Hasek to make it 3-2.
Wisniewski had a strong game and was named the #3 star. He had a battle in the 2nd period with Detroit's Dallas Drake.
After Lang tied the game to send it into overtime, Lidstrom almost won it in the extra period, but Khabibulin kicked out his 25 foot drive.
Kane, playing in only his second NHL game, was named the #1 star.
The Hawks outshot the Wings 27-26 and were 0-4 on the power play while Detroit was 2 of 5.
Lidstrom led all skaters with 30+ minutes of ice time while Brent Seabrook paced the Hawks with 26+.
The Hawks return to action Wednesday night at the United Center (7:30 pm) against San Jose and have a return match Friday in Detroit against the Wings.