Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pens open the season with a win

The Pens took one last look back at their Stanley Cup Championship and then it was time to drop the puck on a brand new season with the same goal in mind. Dan Bylsma told his team that when they watched the banner being raised that they needed to remember that the banner symbolizes how they play and what they needed to continue to do. It was time to stop looking back on last season and drop the puck on the new season. The Pens didn't seem to have any trouble doing just that when they beat the New York Rangers 3-2 in the last opening night at Mellon Arena.

Not taking too long to score their first goal, with 12:12 left to go in the first period the Pens were on a power play when Gonchar let a shot go from the point that Malkin tipped in to make the game 1-0 Pens. Alex Goligoski and Gonchar had the assists.

It wouldn't take too long for us to see the first fight of the season either when Eric Godard and Donald Brashear would go at it with 8:05 left in the first. They didn't let the crowd down by putting on a good show. You can watch it here:

With 3:59 left in the period the Rangers would tie the score at one with a goal from Chris Drury. Sidney Crosby would take a slashing penalty with almost three minutes left but the Pens' penalty kill would be up to the task to keep the score tied at one.

Not long into the second period Marc-Andre Fleury would make a huge glove save on Vaclav Prospal. You know the type, think similar to his save in game 7 of the Capitals series on Alexander Ovechkin. What a way to start out the season for Fleury.

The Pens paid him back by scoring two goals in the second, one from Crosby and one from Tyler Kennedy. With 7:35 left in the second period Crosby would be parked in front of the net to take a feed from Kris Letang who gathered up a rebound from a Bill Guerin shot to make the score 2-1. But Goligoski and TK didn't think that was enough. Shortly after, with 6:27 left in the second period Gogo would take a shot at the net that Kennedy would tip in for another Pens goal and make the game 3-1. Staal would get the other assist. The Pens would also kill two more penalties that period.

The third period would see a goal from new Ranger Marian Gaborik to cut the Pens lead 3-2 but that's all the Pens would allow for the rest of the period, killing another penalty and beating the Rangers 3-2 to start out the season 1-0.

Part 1 of the Pens' banner raising ceremony:

Part 2:

Game recap

Overall the Pens looked pretty good. The penalty killing unit did not allow a power play goal, Marc-Andre Fleury looked great after a somewhat questionable preseason, Sid and Geno each scored, Alex Goligoski looks like he has all the confidence in the world, the power play scored a goal, Jordan Staal had some great chances, Tyler Kennedy is starting the season out great, Godard is in fighting shape, and Dan Bylsma looks like he's ready to defend the Cup.

The Pens get the chance to go 2-0 tonight against the New York Islanders in NY. The Pens can welcome first round draft pick John Tavares to the NHL. Maybe some Free Candy? What a way to enter the league, playing against the Stanley Cup Champions. Should be a memorable one. The game starts at 7:00 p.m.

Let's Go Pens!

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