You reading live from Mellon Arena. With a beautiful sunny day in the high 70s, we decided to walk up to the arena from the Post-Gazette's building downtown.
Looking down the Boulevard of the Allies:
-The rink at PPG Plaza is under construction:
-Penguins fans on Grant Street:
-Tailgating outside the arena:
-There are red carpets actually set up outside each gate:
-A Tom Barrasso jersey:
-The fan festival on Mario Lemieux Place:
-A "shooting" booth:
-A Paul Coffey jersey:
-A dunking booth with a "Devils fan:"
-A couple of still loyal Jarkko Ruutu fans:
-There is a big screen set up out behind the arena:
-Tonight's copy of Ice Time:
-The mouse pads being given out:
-This isn't the best picture, but here are some of the new banners:
Here are the new banners:
-We kind of like how they acknowledged the "pigeon" logo with the titles the team won in the mid 1990s.
-We really like how they made the Stanley Cup banners white.
-The Cotton Candy Guy survived the Pirates' season:
-A Jaromir Jagr jersey:
-The Penguins' scratches are Paul Bissonnette, Petr Sykora and Bill Thomas.
-New Jersey has scratched Sheldon Brookbank, Andy Greene and Petr Vrana.
-All seven of the Penguins healthy defensemen will dress. Interesting.
-Mike Zigomanis is wearing No. 15. Randy Gilhen would be so proud.
-That "It's a Wonderful Day for Hockey" video is played:
-The Penguins are introduced. The loudest cheers are reserved for Marc-Andre Fleury, Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby.
-The national anthem for any home opener require the talents of:
-Martin Brodeur and Fleury get the start in net.
20:00: At 7:41: p.m., the puck is dropped on the next to last home opener at Mellon Arena.
18:50: Pascal Dupuis steal a puck and centers it for Maxime Talbot in traffic in the slot. Talbot drops to a knee and pushes a shot wide.
14:59: Jamie Langenbrunner controls the puck on the left wing, spins and throws a weak shot on net. Fleury knocks it down and covers it.
13:37: We get our first official fight of the Penguins season as Eric Godard and Mike Rupp go at it. Rupp has the early edge as he lands a few rights. Godard holds him off, lands a few of his own. They wrestle around a bit before Godard gets a hand free, pops Rupp a few times and they fall to the ice.
10:51: Alex Goligoski comes down the left side and fires low. Brodeur eats it up.
10:18: Dupuis comes down the left wing and whips a puck on net. Brodeur kicks it out.
9:02: Brian Gionta is nailed for hooking. Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal and Miroslav Satan take to the ice as the forwards. Evgeni Malkin and Goligoski man the points.
8:08: What power play troubles? Goligoski slides a pass to Malkin at the top of the slot. Malkin pounds a one timer towards the net. It hits a body. Staal shuffles it into the crease. Satan is there to clean up the garbage. The "[View:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAxb72cssGE]" is played. Penguins 1-0.
7:20: Langenbrunner and Brooks Orpik get tangled behind the Penguins net. Orpik is sent off for slashing. Langenbrunner is sent off for slashing. The same power-play unit from before takes the ice.
6:18: From behind the net, Crosby dishes a pass to Tyler Kennedy in the slot. Kennedy gets a quick shot off. Brodeur appears to make the save.
5:21: The power play expires. Fire Mike Yeo.
4:38: Travis Zajac turns and fires a wild slapper on net. Fleury knocks it down and swats away the rebound.
3:38: The Devils play the puck off the boards. It takes a weird hop off the glass and into the crowd on the opposite end of the ice. Someone appears to get hit by it. An attendant comes down and escorts them to a medical station. You have to pay attention folks. They tell you that on the ticket.
2:41: David Clarkson controls the puck just inside the blue line and fires a slapper on net. Fleury knocks it away.
2:03: Matt Cooke gets completely blasted by Danius Zubrus at the Penguins blue line. Cooke is a little slow to get up. Godard exchanges words with the offending party. Replays show Zubrus getting away with an elbow. No call.
0:00: End of period. As time expires, Orpik plants Bobby Holik in the crease with a nice check. The horn sounds. Several member of the Devils go after Oprik. A scrum ensues behind the Penguins net. Maxime Talbot and Patrik Elias get involved. It's nice to see hockey back. Penguins 1, Devils 0.
-Elias will serve a roughing minor to start the period.
-Bryce Salvador leads all skaters with 8:43 of ice time. Crosby leads the Penguins with 7:24. Kris Letang is second with 7:23.
-The Devils have a 10-8 edge in shots.
-Elias and Parise lead all skaters with two each.
-Salvador and Rob Scuderi have two blocked shots each.
-The Penguins lead in faceoffs, 8-7.
-Best messages sent to the video board:
"Mark Eaton > You"
"Jeff Jimerson has the sweetest hair"
-As mentioned in the comments down below, Yahoo! is offering a live broadcast of this game.
-The same power-play unit that scored takes the ice.
18:40: Crosby is called for interference and that ends a pretty sad looking power play. We'll have four-on-four for 41 seconds.
18:10: 17,132. What there a doubt?
17:45: Elias' penalty expires.
17:32: With a faceoff in the Penguins zone, a penalty-killing unit of Talbot, Dupuis, Hal Gill and Rob Scuderi take the ice.
17:15: Fleury eats up a shot from the right wing. Zigomanis and Malkin replace Talbot and Dupuis.
17:02: Zigomanis comes up ice on a two-on-two with Malkin. He holds the puck and feeds a nice pass to Malkin who can't quite get his stick on the puck. Nice idea.
16:38: Crosby's penalty ends.
14:19: Johnny Oduya comes flying down the slot and rips a wrister on net. Fleury kicks it out.
13:18: David Clarkson trips up Crosby at the Penguins blue line. Gill takes offense and mixes it up with Clarkson. Clarkson drops his gloves, Gill does the same. Gill (6-foot-7, 240 pounds) hold the much smaller Clarkson (6-foot-1, 200 pounds) off with this reach and jabs the Devils in the face a few times. Clarkson manages to work his way in on GIll and lands a few punches, including one that catches Gill pretty good. The wrestle a bunch before the officials step in. For as big as he is, Gill is not a talented fighter. Check out what Zdeno Chara did to him a few season ago:
11:39: Kris Letang makes a bad clearing attempt. A Devils player knocks it down and dishes a cross ice pass to Parise. Parise fires a clean shot on net. Fleury goes to the butterfly and eats it up.
10:37: Dupus is nalled for tripping. Zigomanis, Scuderi, Staal and Eaton take the ice.
10:20: Former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin re-directs a nice pass on net. Fleury fights it off.
9:57: Faceoff in the Penguins zone. Orpik, Letang, Talbot and Cooke are on the ice.
9:20: Elias has a chance in close. Fleury knocks it away.
8:37: Dupuis' penalty expires. The Devils had some decent chances.
7:18: Crosby and Satan come up ice on a mini two-on-one. Crosby gets by a diving Devils defender and backhands a pass into the slot. Satan pushes it wide of the net.
3:57: Clarkson trips up a Penguin in the Devils zone. Two minutes. Clarkson, an agitator, tries to drag a Penguin off the ice with him but no one bites. The same power-play unit that scored tonight takes the ice.
3:29: Goligoski sneaks in from the point and gets a shot off in deep. Brodeur holds it out with his right leg.
1:48: The Penguins work the puck around. Letang gets it at the right point, sneaks in and throws a shot wide of the net.
0:19: Zajac and Langenbrunner come in on a two-on-one. Zajac dishes the pass to Langenbrunner who can't quite gets his blade on the puck.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Devils 0.
-The Devils have a huge advantage in shots, 25-12.
-Parise leads the game with six shots. Goligoski, Satan and Kennedy each have two.
-The Devils have an 18-15 lead in shots.
-Scuderi leads the game with five blocked shots. Letang has four.
-Salvador still leads the game with 15:56 of ice time. Letang leads the Penguins with 15:42.
-One thing we've noticed about the new "individual" banners here that recognize the scoring titles and MVP awards won by Penguins players, why do they say "NHL SCORING TITLES" AND "NHL MVP?" Do the Penguins assume their Penguins aren't savvy enough to recognize the difference between the Art Ross and Hart Trophies?
-And if you're going to recognize individual honors at the NHL level, why not honor the Calder Trophy wins by Mario Lemieux and Malkin. Or Randy Carlyle's Norris Trophy win in 1981? Or even Lemieux's Conn Smythe Trophy wins?
18:29: The Devils direct a puck on net. Fleury eats it up. The Devils crash the net. Talbot, Goligoski and company hold them at bay.
18:10: Clarkson throws a wrister on net. Fleury traps it against his chest.
16:49: Zajac pounds a slapper from the right wing. Fleury absorbs it. Another scrum ensues. Rupp and Godard are sent off for roughing. Four-on-four.
15:55: In the Devils' zone, Malkin makes a poor drop pass for Scuderi. Brian Rolston steals it and flies down ice. Scuderi hooks him and manages to prevent a shot. Langenbrunner follows up on the loose puck Fleury makes the save. Scuderi goes off for hooking. Four-on-three for 1:06. Talbot, Dupuis and Eaton are on to kill the penalty.
14:52: Elias fires a shot from the right side. Fleury with the save.
13:55: Scuderi's penalty expires.
13:23: Kennedy brings it up ice into the Devils' zone. He stops, leaves a drops pass for Goligoski. Goligoski throws it on net. The puck appears to hit Staal in the crease and bounces away.
12:46: Kennedy tries to whip a wrister on net but his stick breaks. The puck trickles into the crease where Brodeur kicks it out.
12:00: Orpik is called for holding. Replays show Langenbrunner powerbombing him in the slot no call. GIll, Scuderi, Staal and Talbot are on to kill the penalty.
11:30: The Penguins clear the puck. Zigomanis and Malkin replace the forwards. These two have generated a few opportunities together short-handed.
10:52: Zigomanis clears the puck. Dupuis, Crosby, Eaton and Letang come on the ice.
10:11: How did the Devils not score there? Fleury got lucky there. He makes an initial save with his glove but loses track of the rebound. The puck gets batted around. It slides underneath him along the goal line. Another shot hits him in the back. the rebound lays to rest on his butt. The Devils crash the crease. A scrum ensues. The crowd stands and cheers for one of the few times tonight. You can hear a few "Flerr-EEE! Flerrr-Eeee!" chants.
9:05: During a stoppage, the score of the Detroit-Ottawa game (Detroit 3, Ottawa 2) is greeted with boos.
7:07: Scuderi gets away with a trip on Langenbrunner.
6:18: Fighting through traffic, Crosby makes a terrible backhanded pass at his blue line. Gionta steals it, comes in and fires a slapper. Fleury saves the day with a big leg save. Jay Pandolfo collects the rebound and tries to dish a pass. Crosby makes up for his poor pass by diving and breaking up the pass.
4:52: The Penguins are getting outshot 41-14 at this point. They've only had two shots this period. How are they winning this game?
4:09: Cotton-Eyed Joe is busted out:
2:54: Elias sneaks in on net and fires a wrister. Fleury locates it in traffic and fights it off.
2:29: Ugh. That was brutal. Elias throws the puck into the slot from the left boards. It hits off the shaft of Gill's stick and bounces into the net. What a joke of a goal. Devils 1, Penguins 1.
0:37: Fleury traps a loose puck against the side of the cage.
0:06: The Devils clear the puck but ice it. Orpik hustles back to touch it. Faceoff in the Devils' zone.
0:00: End of period. Devils 1, Penguins 1.
-The shots are 45-14 in favor of the Devils at this point.
-The Devils had a "slight" edge in shots that period, 20-2.
4:24: After an icing, Michel Therrien calls time out.
3:18: Ruslan Fedotenko (Remember him?) comes up the slot and directs a weak wrister on net. Brodeur knocks it away with his blocker. Fedotenko's shot is greeted with a Bronx Cheer.
1:58: Malkin blocks a shot by Mike Mottau at the point.
1:39: Fleury knocks down a shot from the point.
0:37: Wow what a shot! After the Devils break up a three-on-two, Zajac flips the puck up ice. Parise gets behind the defense approaches the net and fires a laser that burns Fleury on the far glove side. Orpik crunches him into the boards after the fact. Terrible goal for the defense to give up. End of game. Devils 2, Penguins 1.
-Part of us wants to say the Devils stole this win. Elias' goal was pure trash. But the Devils completely out-played the Penguins in this game. The Penguins were very sloppy and were lucky to get a point out of this.
-We know it's the first home game of the season, but remember this point the Penguins gave up in April when they're battling for the Atlantic Division crown.
-Letang looked pretty bad on the overtime goal. He gave away the puck on the three-on-one and allowed Parise to get behind him. His debut as the Penguins' top defenseman has been rocky to say the least.
-Fleury was everything for the Penguins tonight. He made 47 saves. This would've been a 4-1 win for the Devils if it weren't for him.
-The Devils had a 49-15 advantage in shots. The Penguins only had three shots in the third and overtime period combined.
-Elias led the game with 10 shots.
-Kennedy led the Penguins with three.
-It's probably not a good thing that Tyler Kennedy led the Penguins in shots.
-Paul Martin led the game in ice time with 27:19.
-Letang led the Penguins with 25:37.
-Scuderi led the game with five blocked shots.
-The Devils had a 29-23 advantage in faceoffs.
-Zigomanis, who was brought here in part for his ability to take faceoffs, was 3-for-6.
-Nice to see Martin Brodeur "earn" another win with a vintage 14-save perfomance.
-We're not saying Brodeur isn't one of the greatest goaltenders of all time. If we had one game to play and we could choose our goaltender, Brodeur would be one of the first names we would consider. We just think his statistical accomplishments are a little bogus considering he hasn't face that much rubber in his career on a game-by-game basis.
-The new guys, Satan, Fedotenko and Cooke were quiet for the most part. Godard was the only of the new additions to really show up when he had that fight with Rupp.
-Sure Satan had the Penguins' only goal, but that was a garbage goal. Michel Ouellet could've had that.
-The only time we noticed Cooke was when he was run over by Zubrus.
-The crowd was pretty dead tonight, but in all fairness, this was a fairly dull game.
-Not to get too sentimental, but we'll miss the Penguins' old banners: