The Penguins opened their brand-new, state-of-the-art facility, CONSOL Energy Center with much anticipation and excitement. Though Pittsburgh was on the losing end of a 3-2 game to rival Philadelphia, the bigger story of the night was the new arena that saved the Penguins and hockey in Pittsburgh.
On the ice, the Penguins ran into a hot goaltender in 22-year-old Russian rookie Sergei Bobrovsky, who made his NHL debut. Pittsburgh pressured the goaltender all night, throwing 31 shots on goal. And when the Penguins did get the puck behind Bobrovsky, they couldn’t beat the red metal behind him. Though no official count exists, offhand I recall Pittsburgh hitting at least five posts. The Penguins deserved a better outcome on the ice than occurred.
Despite the disappointing loss, it was still “a great day for hockey” and a grand celebration of the CONSOL Energy Center and the start of the 2010-11 season.
Tyler Kennedy put on his customary energetic and inspired performance.
He was flying up and down the ice, hustling to loose pucks, fighting for puck possession and a menace with his defensive stick work.
Kennedy was rewarded for his efforts by forever etching his name in the history books as the first Penguin to score at CONSOL Energy Center.
He tallied 44 seconds into the third period. Kennedy also finished with three shots and a plus-1 rating.
The Penguins scored a goal 44 seconds into the third period to cut Philadelphia’s lead to 2-1.
Pittsburgh had all the momentum and was working on a power play just two minutes later. Sidney Crosby received a perfect pass above the near circle and rifled a shot. The puck unfortunately dinged off the goal post, and 1:31 minutes later the Flyers scored the game-winning shorthanded goal.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Surprise starter Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 29 shots in his NHL debut, Danny Briere and Blair Betts scored the first two goals, and the Flyers spoiled the Pittsburgh Penguins' debut game in their new arena by winning 3-2 on Thursday night.
For the first time in their 44-season history, the Penguins played a home game in a brand-new building as an above-capacity 18,289 jammed into the Consol Energy Arena - a building made certain only after Sidney Crosby's arrival in 2005 rejuvenated hockey interest in Pittsburgh.
• Some quick firsts for the CONSOL Energy Center: goal/power-play goal (Danny Briere, 2:51, first period); Penguin goal (Tyler Kennedy, 0:44, third period); shorthanded goal (Claude Giroux, 4:55, third period); Penguin power-play goal (Alex Goligoski, 5:14, third period).
• Pittsburgh outshot Philadelphia, 31-27. The Penguins put 65 total shots toward the net (with 16 being blocked and 18 missing the goal).
• The Penguins dominated in the faceoff circle, winning 34 of 56 draws (61 percent). Sidney Crosby (18 of 29, 62 percent) and Mark Letestu (10 of 14, 71 percent) were the workhorses on the night.