Nikolai Khabibulin returned to the scene of his greatest professional triumph when the Blackhawks goaltender skated into the crease where he won a Stanley Cup in 2004.

Khabibulin was the starting netminder for the Lightning during the 2003-04 season and led them to their only NHL championship in a seven-game series against the Flames. On Thursday night Khabibulin started for the Hawks against them.

"Winning the Stanley Cup in front of the home crowd was pretty special" Khabibulin said. "It's probably the best memory I have."

Only Martin St. Louis remains from the '04 Cup-winning team and the Lightning captain said Khabibulin was "the backbone of our team really.

"Without 'Khabby' I don't think we're celebrating the Stanley Cup. Any good team always has a pretty good goaltender and he was all that for us."

At 40 Khabibulin is in search of another Cup in his second stint with the Hawks.