Chris Osgood got the shutout, yet it was Dominik Hasek who walked out of Joe Louis Arena smiling. He's going to miss this hockey rink.
Osgood earned the 24th shutout of his career, and Detroit got goals from Kris Draper and Tomas Holmstrom as the Red Wings beat the Buffalo Sabres, 2-0, in the opener for both teams last night.
Still, it was a good night for Hasek. The Red Wings outshot Buffalo 44-22, and it was only the play of Hasek in the Sabres' goal that kept the score as close as it was. After a whistle stopped one barrage of shots with 10 minutes 36 seconds left in the game, Hasek picked up the puck and tossed it out to the blue line. He then raised his arms--palms up--as if to say, "What else can I do?" The 19,983 fans applauded.
"Both goaltenders played extremely well," Sabres Coach Lindy Ruff said. "Maybe the fans realized this was the last time they'll see him in this building. I thought it was a classy act."
Hasek has announced he will retire after this season.
STARS 2, MIGHTY DUCKS 0: Dallas took a physical win over visiting Anaheim behind the 22-save goaltending of Ed Belfour, but lost top center Mike Modano for an undetermined period due to a second-period head injury.
Modano, who left the ice on a stretcher, suffered a sprained ligament in his neck and a slight concussion after a hit from behind in the second period by Anaheim defenseman Ruslan Salei, who received a game misconduct. Modano spent the night at Baylor Medical Center.
Coach Ken Hitchcock said the team won't know how long Modano will be out until he is examined further today.
DEVILS 4, THRASHERS 1: After a 19-year absence, the NHL returned to Atlanta, but the city will have to wait a little longer for a win. Bobby Holik scored twice and Martin Brodeur stopped 25 of 26 shots as New Jersey spoiled the Thrashers' debut.
Hall of Famer Bernie Geoffrion dropped the ceremonial first puck on opening night, a nod to the city's hockey heritage. The Boomer was the first coach of the Flames, who brought hockey to the Deep South in 1972 but moved to Calgary in 1980.
Atlanta's second ice age was greeted by a sellout crowd of 18,545 at the new $213 million Philips Arena. The fans, thousands of them adorned in white team jerseys, cheered everything--even the Zamboni.
HURRICANES 3, BRUINS 1: Sami Kapanen and Kent Manderville beat Boston backup Robbie Tallas 1:20 apart in the second period as Carolina sent the host Bruins to a rare opening night loss. Boston was 9-0-3 in its previous 12 openers, the longest unbeaten streak in the NHL. But the Bruins took the ice without Byron Dafoe, a Vezina Trophy finalist from last season who is holding out while haggling over a new contract.
Ray Bourque gave Boston a 1-0 lead when he scored his 386th career goal 1:42 into the second period, moving him into the lead on the NHL's all-time scoring list for defensemen.
SENATORS 3, FLYERS 0: Ottawa's Patrick Lalime, making his first NHL start in more than two years, blanked host Philadelphia. The Flyers were shut out in a season opener for the third time in their 32-year history and first time since 1976.
CANUCKS 2, RANGERS 1: Kevin Weekes stopped 32 shots to earn his first NHL victory and former Ranger Mark Messier set up two goals as host Vancouver prevailed in its season opener. Markus Naslund broke a 1-1 tie when he completed a two-on-one rush 11:56 into the second period.
MAPLE LEAFS 4, CANADIENS 1: Mats Sundin had a goal and two assists as Toronto beat host Montreal. Sundin scored a short-handed goal at 6:05 of the first period.
LIGHTNING 4, ISLANDERS 2: Fredrik Modin scored the eventual game-winner with 2:01 remaining as host Tampa Bay won in Steve Ludzik's coaching debut. Modin, acquired from Toronto on Friday, scored from the left circle after Steve Guolla won a faceoff.
KINGS 2, PREDATORS 0: Jozef Stumpel scored on Los Angeles's first power play and added an assist as the Kings beat host Nashville.
COYOTES 2, BLUES 1: Jyrki Lumme snapped a tie with a third-period power-play goal as visiting Phoenix won in the NHL coaching debut of Bob Francis. Keith Carney also scored for the Coyotes.