Found January 19, 2013 on
The Pittsburgh Penguins needed about seven minutes to make the Wells Fargo Center as quiet as the other 29 NHL arenas the past three months with goals by Tyler Kennedy and James Neal.
Despite the lockout that threatened the season, Philadelphia Flyers fans, eventually, made their presence known. This place was sold out for a 3-1 Penguins victory, one of 13 games that kicked off the NHL's abbreviated 48-game regular-season schedule on Saturday.
"They have a lot of loyal fans and a lot of people who love their team here," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "It was great to see that we're still getting the turnout that we're getting."
That's in Philly, where fans would walk through the turnstiles whenever the owners and players agreed to halt the third work stoppage in the NHL over the last 20 years. And full arenas like this one will be the norm -- at least in most NHL markets -- this weekend.
That's not to say this latest stoppage won't have an impact. It already has. The NHL has moved further outside the consciousness of the average sports fan. But had a fringe hockey fan or somebody new to the sport entered the building, he or she may not have noticed that we weren't in the middle of an 82-game schedule.
"Thank your fans!" was not scribbled on the ice like had been after the last lockout, which cost the entire 2004-05 season. The play wasn't crisp, although nothing worse than if both teams had come off long road trips in the middle of a grueling season.
"We knew it was going to be a little sloppy," said Neal, the Penguins forward who made it 2-0 with a goal 7:20 into the contest. "Guys are still trying to get their timing down. It's been a long time since we've been in a game situation.
"We knew we weren't going to come here like it was Game 6 of the playoffs where we'd whip the puck around making great passes. We knew we'd be scrambling."
Flyers fans who wore the free orange "Let's go!" T-shirts still disliked the Penguins star center as always, and the "Crosby Sucks!" chant began early.
Philadelphia became the latest team to offer a tiding, following half-price tickets, free jerseys along with merchandise and concession discounts announced by other teams after the owners and players agreed to a new collective-bargaining agreement.
The lockout centered around the owners' desire to cut the players' take of league revenues, limits to contract lengths and revenue sharing. The two sides agreed in principle to a 10-year deal (either can side can opt out after eight years) on Jan. 6 and the players followed the owners in ratifying the deal in Jan. 12 -- leaving a just week for training camp before play began.
Maybe the Flyers had a week and one period.
"The first period was kind of ugly," said new Flyers captain Claude Giroux, who scored Philly's lone goal, in the second period. "Guys were trying to get their legs back. Things were a little sloppy."
Don't worry, the sloppiness should disappear. It's only the first game and, sadly, a large part of Saturday's crowd probably didn't notice anyway.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Tyler Kennedy and James Neal scored goals to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins past the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 on Saturday.
Claude Giroux scored for the Flyers in the first game for both teams since the end of the 113-day NHL lockout.
Chris Kunitz added an empty-netter in the final seconds for the Penguins.
About 20,000 fans filled the Wells Fargo Center and they were welcomed back...
James Neal scored twice, Evgeni Malkin assisted on three Pittsburgh goals, and the Penguins chased reigning Vezina Trophy winner Henrik Lundqvist from the net in the second period of a 6-3 victory over the Rangers in New York's home opener on Sunday night.
Neal, Tyler Kennedy and Matt Niskanen all scored in the first period, and Malkin set up Pascal Dupuis in the second to push...
An NBC commercial promoting the NHL season opener between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers got its facts mixed up by claiming that the Penguins defeated the Flyers in last year's playoffs. The ad sells the game with this:
Sid "The Kid" (Crosby) and the Penguins face off with rival Philly...and Claude Giroux and the Flyers have their sights set on revenge...
Tyler Kennedy, James Neal, and Chris Kunitz each scored and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 26 shots as the Penguins beat the Flyers 3-1 Saturday in Philadelphia. Anyone expecting a matchup similar to the circus-like six game playoff series from April left very disappointed. Both teams had stretches of strong defensive play and both goaltenders, Marc-Andre Fleury and Ilya Bryzgalov...
The lockout is over and training camps have concluded. It's time to get back to playing games. The Penguins enter this season as one of the Stanley Cup favorites for the fifth year in a row. Their first year as contenders, the Penguins lost to the Red Wings, followed by a Stanley Cup win in Detroit in 2009. The last three seasons have been utter disappointments, two of...
Pens-Rangers: Sunday notings & dotings
Fans will remember two openers ago when Philly beat the Penguins to open the CONSOL Energy Center (CEC) with unknown goalie Sergei Bobrovsky leading his team to a 3-2 victory. Tyler Kennedy scored Pittsburghâs first ever goal at the CEC, with Paul Martin getting the primary assist. It was dÃ©jÃ vu all over again yesterday...
We got to talking on Twitter with a Hurricanes fan who has closely followed Brandon Sutter's career. We asked her to give us as much information as possible on Sutter, and she has answered the bell. Great read:
Brandon Sutter was meant to be a franchise player in the Carolina Hurricanes organization. Canes General Manager Jim Rutherford once called Sutter one of...
PHILADELPHIA - Tyler Kennedy and James Neal scored in a span of 2:40 in the first period and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 Saturday afternoon in a rematch of a 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals series. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 26 shots to win his 227th game, passing Tom Barrasso for first place on Pittsburgh's all-time list. The teams kicked...
The New York Rangesr (0-2-0) lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins (2-0-0) by the score of 5-2, last night. For a box score, go to Yahoo! Sports.
,,,since the Rangers didn't bother showing up last night, I won't bother doing a game recap.
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Ranger fans left The Garden disappointed tonight, as the Blueshirts dropped their home opener to the Penguins, in particularly brutal fashion, 6-3. In a game we saw The King pulled in the second period, Rick Nash’s first Ranger goal, and continued sloppy, disjointed play, the good guys fell to 0-2-0 on the young season. Let’s break down the goals…
Penguins 1, Rangers 0...
The Pittsburgh Penguins kicked off the abbreviated season with a gritty win in front of an unfriendly crowd.
Coach Dan Bylsma's team figures to be in for more of the same with a visit to Madison Square Garden in store.
Hoping to build on its strong opening performance, Pittsburgh tries for a fifth consecutive victory over the Atlantic Division-rival New York Rangers on Sunday...
As any of us that were watching the game, and stomping around the living room, throwing our hats at the tv, spittin’ & a’cussin as we were put on hold for another half hour or so, my face lit up like a kid at Christmas at 3:35 pm EST, when The Pittsburgh Penguins’ season officially [...]
Before today the best 60 minutes of Paul Martin's Penguin career was his introductory press conference.
Today Martin and the rest of the defense set the tone with a complete 60 minute effort.
We can tell ourselves that this game will never avenge being beat in the playoffs by the Flyers, but guess what it does a little bit.
Especially when you think about the fact...