HELSINKI (AP) -Finnish defender Ville Koistinen scored the winning goal in the shootout, lifting the Florida Panthers past the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 Friday in their season opener.
Koistinen also scored in regulation, giving the local fans a thrill in the first NHL game on Finnish ice.
Steven Reinprecht also connected in the shootout for Florida.
Chicago's Patrick Kane scored the first NHL goal on Finnish soil, and assisted on another. Another of the Blackhawks' young stars, Jonathan Toews, scored in the shootout.
But Tomas Vokoun stopped Patrick Sharp on the final shot of the shootout for the win.
Chicago took the lead in the shootout as Toews beat Vokoun. But Reinprecht tied it and Vokoun made a strong save on Kane with his left pad.
Koistinen gave Florida the lead and Sharp missed Chicago's last try before 12,056 in the 13,500-capacity Hartwall Arena.