Blackhawks win wild opener

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CHICAGO --- Tomas Kopecky scored the go-ahead goal in the third period and the Chicago Blackhawks won a wild and high-scoring Stanley Cup opener, beating the Philadelphia Flyers 6-5 on Saturday night.

Kopecky, who had been a scratch the previous five playoff games and was in the lineup because of an injury to Andrew Ladd, scored from the left side with a sharp-angled shot that beat backup goalie Brian Boucher at 8:25 of the third.

Game 2 is Monday night at the United Center.

Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell had a goal and two assists apiece for the Flyers.

Chicago's Troy Brouwer scored two goals, the second putting the Blackhawks ahead 5-4 in the second period and prompting the Flyers to replace starter Michael Leighton with Boucher. Ville Leino, Blair Betts and Arron Asham also scored the Flyers.

Dave Bolland had a short-handed breakaway goal for the Blackhawks, and Patrick Sharp and Kris Versteeg also scored for Chicago.

Brouwer's second goal, on a pass from Marian Hossa who reversed himself behind the net, came from the left circle with 4:42 left in the second, sending ex-Blackhawks goalie Leighton to the bench.

Leighton had been brilliant since taking over in the second round. He entered the game with a 6-1 record, including three shutouts, after replacing an injured Boucher in the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Boston Bruins. Leighton entered with a 1.45 goals-against average and save percentage of .948. He was pulled after giving up his fifth goal in just 20 shots.

Chicago's Antti Niemi made 27 saves for the win.


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