Following these final two farewell videos below ... "Elvis has just left the building!"
The rest of the team begins to give away their jerseys.
A young girl named Alexis, attending her first game, begins the night by receiving a Brent Johnson
All the lucky fans who will receive 'shirts off our backs' are on the ice as the players have begun filtering back out. As usual, they are tossing t-shirts into the crowd.
Tom Clark Chevrolet just gave away a brand new SUV to a lucky Penguins fan as this final game at Mellon Arena also commemorated Fan Appreciation Night.
A video salute featuring Sidney Crosby
, Maxime Talbot and Evgeni Malkin
, among others, thanked the fans for their tremendous support. Tonight marked the 159th consecutive sellout at Mellon Arena, including the postseason.
Nobody has taken a seat and very few people have left as a video tribute to Mellon Arena is playing while the Penguins have a post-game talk in the locker room. Soon the players will return to give the shirts off their backs.
3. Evgeni Malkin
2. Bill Guerin
1. Sidney Crosby
- The crowds goes crazy as the Penguins captain gives them a wave.
And that's all she wrote for Mellon Arena's regular-season history. The Penguins pick up their 858th career victory in the Igloo, 7-3 over the New York Islanders. Sidney Crosby
picks up two goals and two assists while Evgeni Malkin
finished with a goal and an assist. Stick around because we will provide you highlights from the post-game show.
You can't be serious! The officials had the audacity to give Crosby an interference penalty on his last regular-season shift at Mellon Arena. Unreal.
Everybody is on their feet chanting "Let's Go Pens" as Pittsburgh will finish with a late power play with Gilles in the box.
We are down to the final minute in the history of Mellon Arena ...
If the game were to end right now, Bill Guerin would have the final goal in Mellon Arena history.
Back to five-on-five action as Orpik and Jackman are back.
We conclude our videos with arguably the two greatest goals at Mellon Arena:
in Game 4 vs. Detroit in 2009.
Mario Lemieux in Game 1 vs. Chicago in 1992.
Malkin came within inches of picking up his second goal of the night as his rebound attempt hit off the post.
6:07: Brooks Orpik
and Tim Jackman exchange a couple blows prior to a faceoff in the Penguins zone. Both players receive roughing minors. We will have four-on-four action.
The Penguins' chances at winning the Atlantic Division took a major step forward as the Florida Panthers help the Penguins out by beating the Devils, 3-2 tonight in Sunrise.
Yet another kill for the Penguins stingy penalty killing unit.
I might not be writing this blog tonight had Mario Lemieux not put on this six-point performance during my first-ever hockey game - Game 6 of the 1992 Patrick Division Semifinals:
Fleury is going to pick up a tripping call for knocking Sim to the ice. The fans don't seem to mind as they chant "Fleury! Fleury! Fleury!" anyway.
Pittsburgh is unable to cash in on the man-advantage.
Jeff Tambellini is in the box for slashing.
2008 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals ... Game 1 ... Gary Roberts ... Enough said ...
Pittsburgh kills off the major penalty to Ponikarovsky, as Kennedy, who was serving it, skates back on.
The Penguins have used both Crosby and Malkin to kill penalties during this major penalty.
The Islanders use their timeout midway through the power play.
The Penguins will spend the next five minutes on the penalty kill as Alexei Ponikarovsky is given a five-minute major for boarding Bailey and given the accompanying game misconduct.
Add another tally to the scoreboard. Crosby hits Dupuis all alone in front of Roloson, but his initial shot is stopped. Guerin jams away at the rebound, knocking home his 20th goal of the season. Penguins 7, Islanders 3.
A great touch as the Penguins return to the ice to the original "Boys of Winter" theme which was so popular during the Stanley Cup years in the early '90s. Left:
Peter Taglianetti and Randy Hillier. Right:
Gilles Meloche, Wendell Young and Ken Wregget.
SECOND PERIOD NOTES:
- The Penguins have a 32-22 advantage on the faceoff dot.
- Pittsburgh has blocked 13 shots thus far.
- Both teams now have 15 hits.
We have some 'old-time hockey' here at Mellon Arena with the Penguins holding a 6-3 lead over the New York Islanders after two periods. New York maintains a 27-24 shots advantage.
Pittsburgh kills off the Letang minor.
2:09: Kris Letang
is penalized for holding.
: When Crosby's 50th goal was announced the building gave him a standing ovation, as chants of "MVP! MVP! MVP!" reigned down.
Open the flood gates! Tyler Kennedy
... Kennedy ... Is on the board. He hesitated on a shot from the top of the left circle, but when he unleashed his shot, it sailed behind Roloson for his 13th goal of the season. Staal and Eaton pick up the assists. Penguins 6, Islanders 3.
Can you count to 50!?!?!?! Sidney Crosby
sure can! He becomes the Penguins' first 50-goal scorer since Jaromir Jagr in 2000-01 as he just drilled a slap shot from the top of the right circle past Roloson. The goal also gives Crosby 500 career points, making him the third-youngest player in NHL history to reach that milstone behind Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky. Penguins 5, Islanders 3.
The Penguins are once again on the power play as Mark Streit takes a seat in the sin bin for slashing.
One of the funnier moments in Mellon Arena history came when Robbie Brown was chased around the ice by Philadelphia's Ron Hextall during Game 5 of the 1989 Patrick Division Finals:
Roloson has done a great job during this period of stabilizing the fort for the Islanders. He just made a good save on Goligoski before recovering in time to stop Fedotenko's rebound attempt.
Rupp just laid the "Subway Sandwich of the Game" on Jack Hillen by drilling him into the near boards.
Jaromir Jagr put on a gutsy performance during Game 6 of the 1999 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, tallying the game-winning goal in overtime on one leg:
We have a little "get-together" in front of the Penguins net as the Penguins take exception to Okposo jumping over the back of Fleury. Nothing comes of it though.
The Penguins catch a huge break as Nielsen's shot from just over the blue line gets behind Fleury, but not far enough that he can't reach back and make the save.
Another re-direction goal for the Islanders as Mark Streit's drive from the right point grazes the stick of Josh Bailey standing on the doorstep and jumps into the net. Penguins 4, Islanders 3.
With Mario Lemieux out with a broken hand during the 1992 Patrick Division Finals, Ron Francis stepped up in Game 4, delivering a hat trick, including the game-winner in overtime:
Sim's penalty expires.
Are you kidding me?!?!?! New York just had an odd-man rush shorthanded, but Fleury totally ruined that opportunity by making a chest save on Bruno Gervais, a right-pad stop of Sean Bergenheim and then a glove save on Frans Nielsen despite being down and out.
The Penguins, 1-for-2 on the man-advantage already, head there again with Sim sent off for tripping Orpik.
Dwayne Roloson has replaced Biron between the pipes for New York.
Hopefully this period is even half as entertaining as the first period.
FIRST PERIOD NOTES:
- Evgeni Malkin
and Sidney Crosby
each had three shots.
- Mark Eaton blocked three shots.
- Both teams had seven hits in that period.
WOW! What an opening 20 minutes here in the final regular-season contest at Mellon Arena. The Penguins have a 4-2 lead while New York holds a 13-10 shots advantage.
I told you that Sidney Crosby
is hitting the 50-goal mark tonight and I promise I don't lie. He just picked up No. 49 by taking a drop pass from Pascal Dupuis
, skated to the top of the right circle and used a screen to beat Biron over the glove. Penguins 4, Islanders 2.
How could the final game at Mellon Arena not feature a fight? We don't have to worry about that because Mike Rupp just dropped the gloves with Trevor Gillies. It wasn't much of a fight, but hey, it still gets people out of their seat.
Give this to the Islanders - they are one scrappy bunch. Kyle Okposo, who is going to be a pretty good hockey player, just picked up a loose puck in the slot following a broken play and deposited a shot behind Fleury. Penguins 3, Islanders 2.
In other action around the NHL, the Devils and Panthers are scoreless after 20 minutes.
Not a good play there by rookie phenom John Tavares. He tried to pass the puck back to the point, but instead it was Evgeni Malkin
picking off the pass, skating the puck the length of the ice and rifling a shot through the wickets of Biron as the referees were about to make a hooking penalty. Penguins 3, Islanders 1.
Was there a better moment than the night Mario made his comeback on Dec. 27, 2000?
Fleury is on top of his game early. He just moved quickly to the top of his crease to deny a great look by former Penguin Jon Sim at the bottom of the left circle.
A couple sparkling saves by Fleury allows the Penguins to kill off the Fedotenko minor.
At the last stoppage they played a Gary Roberts highlight reel. Needless to say the place went beserk, especially when they showed him sitting in Mario Lemieux's box next to him. What a warrior.
Mario Lemieux called this Jaromir Jagr goal in Game 1 of the 1992 Cup Final the greatest goal he has ever seen. Is anybody going to argue?
We have a penalty fest here at Mellon Arena as the Penguins Ruslan Fedotenko is sent to the penalty box for interference.
New York cuts into the Penguins' lead as Matt Moulson deflects a Mark Streit slap shot over the glove of Fleury during a power play. Penguins 2, Islanders 1.
Now it's the Penguins who lose power-play time as Crosby goes off for interference. He knocked the stick out of Josh Bailey's grip.
Tim Jackman's holding penalty puts the Penguins back on the man-advantage.
We all have our favorite memories from Mellon Arena. Here is one of mine - the night Sidney Crosby
became the youngest player in NHL history to record 100 points:
That's how you move the puck on the power play. Gonchar passes from the midpoint to Crosby at the top of the right circle. Crosby then sends a feed across the ice to Alex Goligoski, who buries a shot top shelf from the left dot. Penguins 2, Islanders 0.
As Fleury directs a shot into the netting behind him the Penguins begin a 1:20 minute power play.
Staal just sent a shot through the crease as the Penguins are buzzing like bees around a hive.
New York loses the remaining 40 seconds of power-play time as Andrew MacDonald is penalized for high-sticking.
We will play four-on-four.
18:02: Evgeni Malkin
is back in the lineup tonight after missing Tuesday's game due to illness. Malkin was just penalized for roughing.
A fitting opening goal for the Penguins. Brooks Orpik
, who has seen this team rebuild into Stanley Cup champions, beats Martin Biron to the short side with a wrist shot from the left point. Tyler Kennedy
and Matt Cooke
receive the assists. Penguins 1, Islanders 0.
20:00: Jordan Staal
and Frans Nielsen partake in the final opening faceoff at Mellon Arena.
VIDEO OF THE NIGHT:
The greatest goal in Mellon Arena history:
Penguins scratches tonight include Chris Kunitz
, Eric Godard and Jay McKee. Out for the Islanders are former Penguin Richard Park
, Rob Schremp, Dustin Kohn, Blake Comeau and Doug Weight.
Alright, now that the pre-game ceremony is over, we have an arena to close down. What better way to send her off than to go out and take care of business against the Islanders. And what would be more fitting than to watch Sidney Crosby
hit the 50-goal mark in the final regular-season contest?
Opening Ceremony Video:
The current Penguins have joined the alumni at center ice for a team picture. What an emotional night! Hockey fans, I hope you realize how lucky we have had it here. What a 43-year run at Mellon Arena.
And we save the best for last .... No. 66 ... Mario Lemieuuuuuuuuuuuux!!! The place goes absoluately crazy as cameras are flashing everywhere.
Three more Hockey Hall of Famers: Craig Patrick, Larry Murphy and Paul Coffey.
I officially have chills ... What Would Gary Roberts Do? ... How about earn "Gary! Gary! Gary!" chants.
One of the many Hall of Famers on the 1991 and '92 championship teams - Bryan Trottier.
The "Old 29er" Phil Bourque and Bob Errey get a warm reception.
We get one final windmill from 'Downtown' Robbie Brown.
Representing the Johnson family ... Badger Bob's son, Olympic hero and former Penguin Mark Johnson.
Francois Leroooooooouuuuuuuuxx ... Only in Pittsburgh!
'Lucky' Pierre Larouche was the first Penguin to record 50 goals in a season.
The 'Century Line' - Jean Pronovost, Syl Apps and Lowell MacDonald - one of the greatest lines in Penguins history. "Let's Go Pronovost!"
We all owe a huge thanks to the next guy - Eddie Johnston - the all-time winningest coach and the man who drafted Mario Lemieux.
We begin the night with Andy Bathgate, the first goal scorer in Mellon Arena.
Mike Lange and Paul Steigerwald have began introducing the alumni beginning with Jack Riley and Red Sullivan, the first general manager and coach in Penguins history.
It's the final hockey night in Pittsburgh (at least at Mellon Arena!). Tonight we say goodbye to the fabled Igloo. All the Penguins have taken the ice and a video montage depicting the past 43 years was just shown. We are seconds away from beginning tonight's riveting opening ceremony.
Author: Jason Seidling