Flyers 3 – Penguins 2
Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh
Rookie Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves and Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were held without points en route to a 3-2 Pens loss in front of the largest crowd ever to see a hockey game in Pittsburgh. Despite facing an inexperienced net-minder and a Flyers defense without Chris Pronger, the Penguins were unable to capitalize on their opportunities and lost their first home opener at the Consol.
Both goalies made great saves early in the game, though the Penguins dominated the first period and outshot the Flyers 15-9. Tyler Kennedy hit a goal post and Mike Comrie ended the period with four shots.
After both teams failed to score in the first, Daniel Briere took advantage of Deryk Engelland’s hooking penalty early in the second by re-directing a Mike Richards pass to score the first-ever regular season goal in the Consol.
The Flyers frustrated the Penguins much more in the second frame. While the Pens killed a two-minute minor, and even had a short-handed opportunity, after Brooks Orpik took a hooking penalty late in the period, Blair Betts put the away team ahead 2-0 by scoring seconds after the penalty expired.
Tyler Kennedy brought life back to the Consol Energy Center with a goal just 44 seconds into the third period. That was followed, however, by a sloppy miscue by new defensive partners Kris Letang and Paul Martin that led to a short-handed goal by Claude Giroux. Letang seemed to think he left the puck for Martin to possess, but actually made his goaltender vulnerable and left his partner in a bad position. Giroux neatly deked his way past Fleury for his first goal of the season.
The Penguins managed one goal on the power play, a blast from Zbynek Michalek that Alex Goligoski deflected into the net, to cut the lead half.
Late in the game Fleury made an incredible save on Jeff Carter, and the Flyers took a penalty with 1:13 left to give the Penguins a 6-4 man advantage with Fleury pulled, but neither were enough to stop Bobrovsky and the Flyers from claiming the first W at the Consol.
Goals: Kennedy (1) and Goligoski (1) scored for the Pens, while Briere (1) Betts (1) and Giroux (1) netted goals for the Flyers.
Assists: Paul Martin, Kris Letang, Chris Kunitz and Zbynek Michalek all had one helper for the Penguins. Mike Richards, Ville Leino, Darroll Powe and James van Riemsdyk each assisted once for the Flyers.
IN THE NET
Fleury (0-1-0) stopped 24 of 27 shots for the Pens. Bobrovsky made 29 saves on 31 shots.
The Montreal Canadiens visit Pittsburgh on Saturday.