The Philadelphia Flyers (2010 Stanley Cup runner-up) spoiled the Pittsburgh Penguins’ new arena debut, winning 3-2 as rookie goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made spectacular saves.
Within the first eight minutes of the opening period, it looked like a Penguins victory was inevitable. Still scoreless at the time, the Penguins dominated the Flyers in every way possible. Their outlet passes were crisp, their puck possession strong and their shots were of very high quality. The Penguins’ Tangradi-Comrie-Malkin line was especially strong, generating second and third chances. With 10:39 remaining in the first period, Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette called timeout to let the team regroup; it apparently worked as the Flyers began to maintain possession and generate scoring chances shortly after.
Bobrovsky did not appear to be rattled by the pressure at all, making spectacular save after spectacular save. Bobrovsky finished the game with 29 saves on 31 shots. The Penguins’ goals were scored by Tyler Kennedy and Alex Goligoski (powerplay goal).
Daniel Briere scored a nice powerplay goal to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead with 17:09 remaining in the second. The Flyers struck again as Blair Betts scored a powerplay goal to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead with 2:45 remaining in the second.
In the third, Kennedy cut the Flyers’ lead to 2-1. A careless turnover by Kristopher Letang led to a shorthanded goal by Claude Giroux, which gave the Flyers a 3-1 lead with 15:05 remaining in the third. Goligoski scored a powerplay goal 29 seconds later to reduce the lead to 3-2; this would be the last goal of the game.
Although they were held pointless, Crosby and Malkin played very well for the Penguins. Mike Comrie, Kennedy and Goligoski also played strong games. Nikolay Zherdev, James van Riemsdyk, Giroux and Briere played very well for the Flyers. Bobrovsky was superb in goal. Scott Hartnell also made a nice diving play to break up a potential Pascaul Dupuis one-timer.
Due to injuries, Jordan Staal and Arron Asham were unavailable for the Penguins tonight; Chris Pronger was unavailable for the Flyers.