CHICAGO – The New York Rangers waited and waited while the Chicago Blackhawks celebrated another championship.
When the puck finally dropped for the first game of the season, Henrik Lundqvist and Co. were more than ready — they were a little annoyed, too.
Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Klein and Derek Stepan scored in the first period, and New York ruined Chicago's Stanley Cup party with a 3-2 victory Wednesday night.
"It's probably very emotional for them to be out there and see the flag go up and share that with all the fans. It's a great moment for them, obviously," said Lund- qvist, who made 32 saves.
"But we were sitting in here and they delayed a little bit, I may be a little bit upset so you want to go out there and pay back. But to try to kill the atmosphere a little bit like that was huge for us."
J.T. Miller added two assists for New York, which begins the season with title aspirations of its own. The Rangers won the Presidents' Trophy last season for the most points in the NHL, and then lost to Tampa Bay in seven games in the Eastern Conference final.
Cheered on by a sellout crowd of 22,104, with many dressed in their usual red jerseys, the Blackhawks raised the banner for the franchise's sixth NHL title during a colorful pregame ceremony.
All-Star winger Patrick Kane, the subject of a sexual assault investigation in western New York, heard loud cheers when he skated onto the ice for the Cup celebration. Kane hasn't been charged, and has said he expects to be exonerated.
"It seemed that the crowd was supportive," Kane said. "In this situation, you don't really know which way it's going to go, one way or another. At the same time, I try to control what I can now, go out on the ice, have some fun, play hockey, try to make some plays, create some offense for my team."
Kane almost had the tying goal with a minute left, but it was waved off. Lundqvist said he heard a whistle before Kane knocked the puck in from under his pad.
"It was a good call," Lund- qvist said with a chuckle.
Artemi Panarin scored in his first NHL game for Chicago. Teuvo Teravainen also scored, and Corey Crawford made 24 saves.
The banner had only been in the rafters for a short time when New York scored. Only 1:43 into the game, Miller passed to Lindberg for a one-timer for the rookie's first career goal.
After a wide-open Panarin responded for Chicago off a pass from Kane, the Rangers went ahead to stay on another one-timer, this one for Klein off a pass from fellow defenseman Keith Yandle. Stepan then made it 3-1 with 59 seconds left when he scored on a rebound off an odd-man rush.
"I thought we were real good in the first period," New York coach Alain Vigneault said.