Trevor Daley's welcome to Chicago moment came in his Blackhawks debut — albeit preseason — after he registered the game-winning goal in a 5-4 overtime win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night at the United Center.
"It was pretty special," Daley, who finished off a beautiful tic-tac-toe play from Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov in overtime, said after the game. "I've never had an exhibition game like this before. Even last night was a little overwhelming too. These fans are awesome. It's a fun atmosphere to be in."
It's the first time the Blackhawks experienced a 3-on-3 overtime situation, which was implemented to help reduce the amount of games ending in a shootout.
And it ended up in their favor on Tuesday.
"I think it's great," Jonathan Toews, who registered a goal and an assist in the win, said of the new overtime format. "It gives us a chance to finish it with the players on the ice. ... It's a new element of the game that we're gonna have to get used to, but it was a lot of fun for sure."
The Blackhawks picked up right where they left off the last time they played a game on home ice jumping out to a three-goal lead.
Kyle Baun opened the scoring 7:16 into the game, showing impressive concentration by swatting the puck from mid-air while falling down near the top of the crease.
Less than a minute later, Toews, who already looks to be in regular-season form, gave the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead with a wrister that beat Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard short side.
Teuvo Teravainen added to the scoring early in the second, but the Red Wings went on to score four of the next five goals, sending the game to overtime, which the Blackhawks went on to win.
“I thought we had a real good start to the game, good pace, good energy," Coach Joel Quenneville said. "They had a good third period, got themselves back into it. Great finish.”
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Ryan Garbutt registered his first goal in a Blackhawks uniform early in the third, while Anthony Mantha, Riley Sheahan, Teemu Pulkkinen, and Luke Glendening each scored for the Red Wings.
Scott Darling showed no signs of rust, stopping all 22 shots — many of them high-quality — he faced in nearly 30 minutes of action.
"A little shaky at first, but the more the shots came, I felt a little bit better," Darling said. "Slowly but surely getting back into it. Those scrimmages down at Notre Dame were nice to shake the rust off and get used to real hockey plays, not just goalie training."
Many of the Red Wings' top players — including former Blackhawks center Brad Richards — did not play and will likely do so Wednesday night when the Blackhawks travel to Joe Louis Arena.