Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

January 19, 2013

Penguins spoil Flyers’ opener in 3-1 win

(Continued)

Both teams get right back at it: Pittsburgh is on the road to play the New York Rangers and the Flyers are at Buffalo, both on Sunday.

Philadelphia again proved it was immune to any lockout backlash: The crowd of 19,994 was the largest regular-season total in Flyers’ history.

Fans filled the parking lots to tailgate hours before faceoff and almost everyone was in some sort of team gear — and that was before they all received a free T-shirt as they entered the Wells Fargo Center.

More than 2,000 fans packed the Flyers’ practice facility for the first day of camp and another 15,000 showed up for a free, open practice on Thursday. The Flyers sold more than 17,000 season ticket packages this season and every seat was full for pregame introductions.

The Flyers aired a video tribute to their fans. Players, local dignitaries such as former Gov. Ed Rendell, and even a Ben Franklin impersonator all welcomed back fans and thanked them for sticking with the Flyers over the three-month lockout.

Flyers chairman Ed Snider told the fans on video, “We’re going to win a Cup for you this year.”

One by one, the Flyers skated out, ending with Claude Giroux’s official introduction as the 19th captain in franchise history.

The lights came on, a sold-out crowd was delirious with nine months of pent up exuberance, the arena was electric and ... Bam. Down 2-0 just in a flash.

Paul Martin’s slap shot off a faceoff deflected off Kennedy’s stick and past Ilya Bryzgalov for the power-play goal.

Neal, who scored 40 goals last season, followed almost 3 minutes later with another quick goal off a faceoff that made it 2-0 only 7:20 into the game and shushed the fired-up crowd.

Bryzgalov, who played in Russia over the lockout, had 24 saves.

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