Coming off a lackluster pre-season, the Pittsburgh Penguins executed offensively, got timely saves and won the special teams battle as the defending Stanley Cup Champions returned to the ice with a win, defeating the New York Rangers 3-2 in what will be the final home opener at Mellon Arena.
Pittsburgh was efficient on the power play going 1 for 2 and were 4 for 4 on the penalty kill.
They also got a big night from their “Big Three”. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin each scored and Marc Andre Fleury made 25 saves including a few sensational saves.
The Penguins opening night win had a playoff recipe to it with the “Big Three” leading the way and role players like Tyler Kennedy having a strong game as Kennedy pushed the Penguins lead to 3-1 in the second period, scoring 68 seconds later after Crosby’s second period tally.
For Pittsburgh they have a quick turnaround as the team departed for Long Island immediately after the game.
It was a special night for the organization but for a number of returning players their focus is already on the journey ahead.
*It’s still very early but the organization is thrilled with the development of Alex Goligoski. He was the Penguins top defenseman in camp and he opened up the season with a solid/consistent game.
The coaching staff is even starting to have confidence with him on the penalty kill. Look for Goligoski to see an increased role early in the season. Goligoski had a team high two points on the evening.
*The Penguins improved to 19-3-4 in the regular season under Dan Bylsma.
*When healthy Marian Gaborik showed last night that he is one of the league’s premier goal scorers. He’s a player that’s exciting to watch.
*Eric Godard saw 3:09 of ice time. He only had one or two shifts after his first period fight.
*Evgeni Malkin took a hard hit in the second period. He was getting his shoulder checked out in between the second and third periods. Something to keep an eye on but he is fine.