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Pens Notch 150th Consecutive Sellout... Live at Mellon Arena...

March 2, 2010, 8:09 PM ET [ Comments]

The Penguins unveiled a new opening montage this evening featuring the song "New Moon Rising" by Wolfmother. It was a welcome change...not the the old one was bad -- just getting a bit stagnant. That montage led right into a ceremony honoring the Olympians who are involved in this game tonight.

There are ten players and a coach in the building who played and or coached in the games, including medalists: Toni Lydman for Finland, Brooks Orpik and Ryan Miller for the USA, Sidney Crosby, Marc Andre Fleury and Lindy Ruff for Canada. Miller got the largest ovation of the visitors, but the interesting thing was seeing footage of Crosby scoring the gold winning goal illicit boos that transformed into a loud ovation upon seening him on the ice.

Tonight's game will also go down as the Penguins 150th consecutive sellout. The streak dates back to the 2006-07 season.

"Every time we reach one of these milestones it gives us another chance to salute the greatest fans in hockey," said team president David Morehouse. "Penguins' fans are the foundation of this franchis, and their continued support never ceases to amaze us. Together with our players, our corporate partners and our youth hockey community, they have helped establish Pittsburgh as one of the foremost hockey hotbeds in the United States."

The team has also sold out all of the suites in Mellon Arena for the past two seasons and have already sold out all 66 suites and 32 loge boxes for the new Consol Energy Center for the 2010-2011 season.

Though there has been a lot of celebrating thus far on the night, there is actually a hockey game being played here...a sloppy one at that. You can really get a vibe that some of these guys haven't been on the ice for quite some time, but things are settling down as it moves along. There have been a handful of penalties and some tempers flaring, but the teams are finally starting to play some hockey.

The Penguins have taken an early lead on Sergie Gonchar's 200th career goal. It came on the power play that should never have happened... meaning that the penalty was not a good one for the Sabres. Gonchar lashed a shot from his office at the center point that beat Patrick Lalime low glove side. Alex Goligoski and Sidney Crosby picked up the assists...

Goligoski is one guy who looks to have benefitted from the Olympic layoff. He had battled injuries all season long, but looks to have his skating stride back. That could go a long towards getting him going offensively again.

* * * * *

The second period is underway and the Penguins have jumped out to a two goal lead. Pascal Dupuis banged a pass in from the left wing... Ruslan Fedotenko and Evgeni Malkin get the helpers...

* * * * *

Sidney Crosby just put on a stickhandling display from his knees... He made two to three great moves at the blue line before falling down. He slid into the zone and towards the right wing face-off dot on his knees, stick handling the entire way. He saw a breaking teammate, but his pass was knocked away before finding its mark.

That play was answered at the other end of the ice by Toni Lydman, who took a pass as he crossed the blue line and lashed a shot that beat Brent Johnson to the far side.

The Penguins now lead this game 2-1, but both teams have started to generate some chances. At times it has seemed as if they could feasibly fall into a barn burner, but then it tightens right back up...
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