The day finally arrived: the Philadelphia Flyers opened the season against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The setting was ferocious, the fans were ecstatic and finally the puck was dropped.
And in a blink, the Pens were up 2-0. Pittsburgh dominated the first period, while the Flyers played rusty and sloppy at times.
To make matters worse, according to ESPN, Philly had three power plays in the first period, but were unable to put the puck in the net. Things were not looking optimistic.
Yet falling behind early is no surprise to the club, who thrived in comeback victories last season (according to Yahoo! Sports).
On cue, the second period was underway and Flyers showed signs of life. The new Flyers' captain, Claude Giroux, scored 0:23 seconds into the period off a laser accurate pass from teammate Scott Hartnell. Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov played much better after the two early goals.
The Wells Fargo Center crowd could foresee another comeback victory.
The Pens held on to their 2-1 lead entering the third period, as both teams were playing much cleaner hockey. Anyone could win this game.
The Flyers had chances—juicy chances, but could not convert, even with two power plays late in the game. One of those chances were negated by a questionable tripping call on Giroux with 1:02 remaining in the game and 0:35 seconds remaining in their man advantage.
The Pens would end up hitting an empty-netter and putting the game out of reach—Flyers lose.
Philadelphia showed many glimpses of sharpness, but the rust was overbearing early. Coach Peter Laviolette and the club must now regroup and put this loss in the rear-view mirror. I'd say it's only the first game and there is a lot of season left, but that is simply not the case.
Claude Giroux scored in first game as new captain; First-rounder Scott Laughton playing over 12:00 minutes; Ilya Bryzgalov saving 24 of 26 shots faced.
Flyers went 0-5 on the power play; Pens went 2-3 on the power play; Claude Giroux's untimely penalty towards the end of the third period; Team falling behind early.