Peter Laviolette Names Sergei Bobrovsky Starting Goalie for Flyers Season Opener

Bleacher ReportAnalyst IOctober 7, 2010

ST PAUL, MN - SEPTEMBER 25:  Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky #35 of the Philadelphia Flyers plays against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center on September 25, 2010 in St Paul, Minnesota. The Flyers defeated the Wild 3-2 in a shootout.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette told the Philadelphia Flyers' official website that 22-year-old rookie phenom Sergei Bobrovsky will start in net for the Flyers against the Pittsburgh Penguins in their season opener.

Bobrovsky was the best goalie in the preseason for the Flyers while posting a 1.76 goals against average and .939 save percentage with a 3-0-1 record. He will make his NHL debut against Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin later on tonight.

It's a tough break for Brian Boucher, who told The Philadelphia Inquirer's Sam Carchidi that he was "shocked" about the decision to start Bobrovsky. Boucher was expected to be the starter in the absence of Michael Leighton, who is out at least a month with a bulging disc in his back.

By no means did Boucher play badly in the preseason or lose the job to Bobrovsky. In fact, he had about the same save percentage as Bob. It's all about how well Bob has played.

The Sergei Bobrovsky era has begun in Philadelphia. They're throwing this kid into the fire against one of the elite teams in the NHL. Let's see how he reacts.

In other news regarding tonight's opener in Pittsburgh, Chris Pronger (knee) remains a game-time decision. However, there are reports surfacing that he is out. Oskars Bartulis will be in the lineup, while Matt Walker will take a seat in the press box.

For the Penguins, former Flyer Arron Asham has been placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury, meaning there's no chance for a fight with his former mates. Defenseman Kris Letang is a game-time decision due to an illness.

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