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Marc-Andre Fleury’s 1st game against the Penguins will give you a torrent of emotions

The goaltender’s first game against his former team has been as strange as you’d think.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Vegas Golden Knights Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

For the last 13 seasons, the Pittsburgh Penguins have known only one real starting goaltender. Marc-Andre Fleury was the beating heart of a Penguins team that won three Stanley Cups over the course of nine seasons, but he was often overlooked in the national spotlight for stars like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Fans were, understandably, gutted when Fleury was taken by the Vegas Golden Knights in the recent expansion draft, though it was a foregone conclusion for some time. On Thursday, Fleury finally faced his old team for the first time as the Golden Knights hosted the Penguins.

In practices leading up to the fated meeting, the Penguins themselves were excited and already a bit emotional on the prospect of facing their former teammate:

In Thursday night’s game, Fleury was slated to match up against successor Matt Murray, adding more narrative punch to a game filled to the brim with it. Both goaltenders were recently injured, making it nearly a game-time decision on whether fans would get their matchup.

As game time drew near, Fleury hung out on the bench and chatted with a few old teammates:

A few other former Penguins teammates also hung around after warm-ups:

Apparently Murray just wanted to tell his old mentor that he missed having him around. Here’s to guessing a lot of people in Pittsburgh feel that way:

Fleury also got a huge ovation from Vegas fans and Pittsburgh fans alike during the starting lineup announcement:

There were even typical Fleury antics during the game, as the netminder showed off some skill in knocking away a Penguins chance at the blue line:

And even a move Penguins fans will recognize from their Stanley Cup runs:

If Penguins and Golden Knights games are now this fun thanks to Fleury’s connection to Pittsburgh, we’ll take this every time.