The Flyers defeated Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins by a final score of 3-2 in the grand opening of the CONSOL Energy Center. Even more importantly, Sergei Bobrovsky (we're going with "Robert" from here on out) recorded his first NHL win against a legitimate offensive threat.
Laviolette was forced to take a timeout midway through the first period because the Flyers were simply being outskated. Although there is no excuse to come out sluggish on opening night, the Penguins clearly had home ice advantage with momentum from the opening ceremonies (aka Mario Lemieux pouring Igloo water onto the new surface).
Bobrovsky saved the game in the first period. Although the Flyers generated a few scoring chances, their defense was porous to say the least. By stopping all 15 shots thrown at him, with the help of a couple posts, Bobs salvaged a scoreless tie following the first period and allowed the Flyers to regroup during the first intermission.
The Orange and Black came out strong in the second. Danny Briere tipped in the first goal in the new arena just 2:51 into the second period to give the Flyers the early lead on the powerplay. Blair Betts added an insurance goal late in the second to pad the Flyers lead. The Pens and Flyers traded goals throughout the third period (including a nifty breakaway goal by Claude Giroux), but maintained the lead all the while and held on for the 3-2 victory.
CHEERS: Sergio Bobrovsky – He had big stops throughout the entire game to keep the team afloat in the first period and ahead the rest of the way.
JEERS: Jody Shelley – In his first game as a Flyer, Shelley took an idiotic goaltender interference penalty just seconds after the Flyers took the early lead. If the Penguins tied the game there, it would have surely been a momentum swing the other way.
Next Game: Saturday at 8 PM in St. Louis. I think Bobrovsky starts again on Saturday for Philly; he earned it.