The Penguins exacted revenge for last year's playoff loss with a 3-1 win in the season opener.
PHILADELPHIA -- The Pittsburgh Penguins managed to exact some revenge on the Philadelphia Flyers with a 3-1 victory on Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center.
After discussing the disappointment of last season's first round playoff exit at great length this week, Pittsburgh was able to utilize a strong first period to register their first win of the regular season.
The Penguins opened the scoring when Paul Martin attempted a point shot during the closing seconds of a Braydon Coburn interference penalty. As the shot made its way from the top of the zone, the puck was tipped and re-directed past Ilya Bryzgalov, which gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead less than five minutes into the contest.
The goal was credited to forward Tyler Kennedy, however, upon further inspection it appears as though the puck deflected off the stick of Philadelphia defenseman Luke Schenn.
A little under three minutes later, the Penguins increased their lead when James Neal beat Bryzgalov with a wrist shot following an offensive zone faceoff win by Evgeni Malkin.
For the Flyers, the first period was jumbled.
The team struggled to cohesively move the puck in the offensive zone and at times, appeared to lose positioning in the defensive zone, which opened up passing and shooting lanes for the Penguins.
After being outshot by a margin of 11-6 in the first period, Philadelphia managed to shake off the cobwebs immediately at the start of the second period.
Scott Hartnell rushed up the left wing and centered a saucer pass to Claude Giroux who was driving the net. Despite two defenseman engaged in the play, the pass managed to reach Giroux who brought the Flyers within one 23 seconds into the period.
Despite the aggressive opening of the second, play evened out compared to the chaotic pace of the opening stanza. Philadelphia's defense appeared to settle in, as did the offense, which nearly doubled their shot total from the first.
Towards the end of the frame, Nicklas Grossmann managed to find himself at the bottom of a pile up in the Flyers defensive zone. After gingerly returning to the bench, he appeared to receive some attention on his back, but was ultimately able to return to the ice for the closing seconds of the period.
In the third, the Flyers generated a handful of healthy opportunities but failed to capitalize on any of them.
As was the case throughout the entire game, the team failed to cash in on the power play finishing the contest scoreless on five chances. Two of those chances came in the final ten minutes of the game. After Malkin was called for high sticking with less than three minutes remaining, the Penguins managed to kill off the chance with the aide of a Giroux tripping penalty.
With Bryzgalov already pulled from his cage, Chris Kunitz effectively ended the game with an empty net goal with 12 seconds remaining. Both teams are back in action on Sunday.