Broken Clouds 56° Good Afternoon
Broken Clouds 56° Good Afternoon

Penguins beat Flyers, 3-1, in opener

After nine months, one lockout, and only days of training camp, fans packed the arena to celebrate the Flyers' return.

They'll have to wait longer to enjoy a win.

The Penguins shut out the noise and the hype and shut down the Flyers, enjoying a fast start to an abbreviated season.

Tyler Kennedy and James Neal scored goals 2:40 apart and Chris Kunitz hit an empty-netter in the final seconds to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins past the Flyers, 3-1, yesterday in Philadelphia.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 26 shots and earned his record 227th career win with the Penguins.

"Well, it's been a long time since we played, but I think the energy is there," captain Sidney Crosby said. "There are a lot of guys in here who are comfortable with each other and I think that will help in the early going."

Flyers fans were in playoff form, starting with the derogatory chants at Crosby from the moment he took the ice.

Crosby was held without a point in the first game for both teams since the end of the 113-day lockout, but just seeing a healthy No. 87 on the ice gives the Penguins hope that big things are ahead this season.

"This is a tough place to play, for sure," Crosby said. "We saw exactly what we expected out there, tough crowd, tough team, but it's a good experience for us, and we'll take it."

One of the NHL's top rivalries kicked off the 48-game season. The Flyers eliminated the Penguins in six games last season in a first-round playoff series.

For the Pens, this win was a first step toward putting that postseason disappointment behind them. "Not all of it, but yes, this feels a lot better," Fleury said. "We feel good about how things went, and we hope that we can build some confidence off this and really get going."

Blackhawks 5, Kings 2: Marian Hossa had two goals and an assist and Corey Crawford made 19 saves as Chicago crashed the Kings' Stanley Cup championship celebration in Los Angeles.

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane each had a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks.

"We enjoyed it, but we'll try to learn from it as well," Kings captain Dustin Brown said. "To see our banners going up, and then . . . not being as sharp as we want to be, it's a mixed feeling."

Stars 4, Coyotes 3: Jaromir Jagr scored two goals and assisted on the game-winner in his debut for host Dallas.

Lightning 6, Capitals 3: Martin St. Louis and Eric Brewer each scored two goals as host Tampa Bay spoiled the coaching debut of Washington's Adam Oates.

Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 1: Nazem Kadri and Tyler Bozak scored power-play goals for visiting Toronto.

Panthers 5, Hurricanes 1: Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and two assists in his NHL debut and Alex Kovalev also had a goal and two assists in his first game with host Florida.

Blues 6, Red Wings 0: Rookie Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice in his NHL debut and Chris Stewart had a pair of goals for host St. Louis.

Ducks 7, Canucks 3: Teemu Selanne had two goals and two assists for visiting Anaheim.

Wild 4, Avalanche 2: Dany Heatley had two power-play goals on assists from new teammate Zach Parise for host Minnesota.

Blue Jackets 3, Predators 2: Derick Brassard scored in the sixth round of the shootout for visiting Columbus.-- AP

New York Sports