ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- The defending Stanley Cup champions showed the Minnesota Wild - and the largest crowd in the state's hockey history - they still have a ways to go to keep up with the NHL's big boys.
Darren McCarty scored his second goal of the game to snap a second-period tie and the Detroit Red Wings clamped down in the third period to hand the Wild their first loss, 5-3.
Unbeaten through four games for the second straight season, Minnesota grabbed a quick 2-0 lead in this one. Detroit roared back to take the lead before the end of the first period, but Antti Laaksonen tied it in the opening minute of the second.
"Last year, I had two goals at New Year's, so I'm ahead of that pace," McCarty joked. "I don't know if I'd call it a good break bouncing off the defense, but it was a good break that it went in the net. I think it went off the post."
Detroit protected the lead by limiting Minnesota to four shots in the third period, just one in the final 10 minutes.
"It's not the start we wanted, but (it was) the finish we wanted," Red Wings first-year coach Dave Lewis said. "Anytime you can come in and beat a team that's undefeated, that's good. Before the game, we were talking about how well they play together."
Bill Muckalt continued his uncanny resurgence for Minnesota with a goal and two assists. He leads the team with four goals and seven points, one season after registering just eight assists in 70 games with Ottawa.
"I've always been able to produce, wherever I've been," Muckalt said. "For whatever reason, it didn't happen last year. I'm not going to bother getting into why, it really doesn't matter."
The Wild are winless in the last seven meetings with Detroit (0-5-1-1).
"Measuring stick, yes," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said. "(Is it) where we want to be in the future? Well, you could last a long time before we get there. They have so many good skaters that control the puck so well and make great passes."
Wes Walz opened the scoring just 1:48 into the game and Muckalt made it 2-0 at 7:24 of the first period.
But a giveaway by defenseman Nick Schultz ended up on the stick of Brett Hull, who ripped a patented one-timer past Roloson at 9:05 of the first to get Detroit on the board. It was the first first-period goal allowed by Minnesota this season.
McCarty tied it at 16:06 off a cross-ice pass from Draper and defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom put the Red Wings in front 1:42 later when his blast from the blue line hit Laaksonen and deflected past Roloson.
"When you're leading by two goals at the start and they come back, there is a tendency to say this is a great team on the other side, so we're done for tonight. But we didn't," Lemaire said. "Though we were down, 3-2, we came out hard in the second period."
The Wild tied it again off a 2-on-1 as Muckalt set up Laaksonen for a slapper from the top of the left circle just 41 seconds into the middle period.
"Our first job is to shut the other team's top line down. From there, we've created a lot of turnovers and have capitalized on our chances," Muckalt said. "There definitely seems to be some chemistry between us."
But the third period belonged to Detroit, which disappointed a crowd of 19,344.
"In the first and second, our 'D' was pinching hard, but we weren't covering for them and gave up a couple of 2-on-1s," McCarty said. "So we really covered for each other in the third period and didn't give them much in the neutral zone."