By Bjorn Rundstrom
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Paul Kariya scored two goals to help the St Louis Blues rally from 3-1 down to beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 in their season-opening game in the Globe arena on Friday.
The 35-year-old Canadian winger, who was injured for most of last season, made it 3-2 with a superb slap shot and later grabbed the winner with a wrist shot.
"It was a good win and it's a good start to get two points against a great team like Detroit," Kariya told the TV6 television channel.
Detroit pushed for the equalizer but the last period was goalless, despite the Wings taking out their goalie in the final minute in a desperate attempt to score.
The Wings, Stanley Cup runners-up last season, made the better start in front of a crowd of 13,850 but fell behind to a goal from Jay McClement at 7:54.
Detroit made it 1-1 at 10:42 after a shot by Kris Draper was saved by Chris Mason and Jonathan Ericsson tapped the rebound into an empty net.
Kirk Maltby put the Wings in front with a counter-attack goal at 14:01 before Ville Leino made it 3-1, assisted by Niklas Kronwall and Daniel Cleary.
St Louis then rallied with three straight second-period goals, Kariya scoring either side of BJ Crombeen's equalizer at 34:40.
"We didn't play well in the first period but we got better in the second and third," said Kariya, who has won the world championship and the Olympics with Canada but has yet to lift the Stanley Cup.
"We were nervous (early) and we had a lot of respect for Detroit. They're a tough team in defense.
"Hopefully we'll get a better start tomorrow," he added, referring to Game Two.
Mason produced some spectacular saves, stopping 31 of Detroit's 34 shots.
He said: "The first period wasn't our best, that's for sure, but the guys stuck with it."
Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom, one of eight Swedes in the team, failed to shine.
He said: "Beside the last 10 minutes of the second period, we played fairly well. (But) you can't have a breakdown like that."
(Writing by Oliver Grassman, editing by Tony Jimenez)