Winnipeg, MB (Sports Network) – Simon Gagne scored a goal and added two assists with his new team and the Tampa Bay Lightning downed Chicago, 4-2, spoiling the preseason opener for the reigning Stanley Cup champions.
Gagne, acquired in a trade with Philadelphia on July 19, tallied early in the third. Carter Ashton, a first-round pick in 2009, scored on the power play late in the second period and Steven Stamkos lit the lamp in the opening period for the Lightning. Blair Jones scored for Tampa Bay with under six minutes left in regulation.
Blackhawks star center Jonathan Toews returned to his hometown of Winnipeg and scored early in the third period. The reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the Most Valuable Player in the Stanley Cup playoffs, Toews pulled the Blackhawks within a goal less than two minutes into the third, 32 seconds after Gagne hit the back of the net.
Patrick Sharp scored in the second period for the Blackhawks, who are coming off a six-game victory over Philadelphia in the Stanley Cup Finals, ending a 49-year title drought.
It was a big offseason for the Blackhawks, who traded Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Eager, Brent Sopel and Akim Aliu to the Atlanta Thrashers for Marty Reasoner, Joseph Crabb and Jeremy Morin. The team also made a decision to let Stanley Cup winning goaltender Antti Niemi become a free agent, as he signed with San Jose.
Marty Turco stopped 14 of 15 shots for Chicago, while Hannu Toivonen made 11 saves on 14 attempts.
Cedrick Desjardins faced 33 shots, halting 31 of them, for Tampa Bay, which beat Dallas Tuesday night to begin the preseason.
09/22 23:53:40 ET