It hasn't been the breakout year as a starter that Scott Darling was hoping for, but the former Blackhawk got a win in his old stadium on Thursday night.
Darling made 22 saves in a 3-2 Hurricanes win at the United Center. It marked Darling's first game back in Chicago after he played for the Blackhawks each of the past three seasons.
The Blackhawks honored Darling with a video during the game, although Darling said he missed some of it. Overall, Darling said he received a "warm reception" from fans and the team.
"This organization is really first class when it comes to stuff like that and welcoming players back and I really appreciate that," Darling said. "I know my family was able to see it and it was a great night."
Darling, who was traded to Carolina this offseason, was pegged to be the Hurricanes' starter, but struggled and lost the job. Darling has still made a career-high 33 starts with a chunk of the season still to play, but also has the lowest save percentage of his career. He is sitting at .890, which is well below his three years with the Blackhawks where he averaged a .923 save percentage.
Darling's first game against the Blackhawks came back on Nov. 11 in Carolina, a game which the Blackhawks won 4-3 in overtime. This time Darling got the better of his former team, although Patrick Sharp did score on him, which Darling thinks will be brought up again.
"All these guys are great friends," Darling said. "I'm sure I'm going to hear it from Sharpy for scoring on me and guys were coming by during the play and saying hi to me. It was pretty funny. It was a great group and I miss the guys a lot."