(PPG Paints Arena) – Game 2 of the Pittsburgh Penguins Round One series against the New York Islander was already pressure-packed enough with history and the Penguins’ future perhaps in the balance. As the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania loosened COVID restrictions, thousands more fans were allowed into Game 2 at PPG Paints Arena.
Even before the puck drop, the Penguins faithful, officially numbering around 9,000 but seemingly more in number, exercised their voices. Many were attending their first hockey game in over 14 months.
The Penguins could have a full house if their season lasts beyond Memorial Day when PA Governor Tom Wold is set to relax all COVID mitigation efforts. The Penguins’ typical capacity is just over 18,000, but it seems they rather full for Game 2.
The crowd had more to cheer about just three minutes into the game when Bryan Rust scored the game’s first goal. And, you guessed it, the place erupted again.
Later in the first period, Jeff Carter scored the second Penguins goal for a 2-0 lead.
The Pittsburgh Penguins lost Game 1 of their Round One series and trail the series, 1-0, but were off to a good start in Game 2 behind more fans than they’ve seen since March 2020.
The happy crowd alternated chants of “Lets Go Pens,” and even a “Jarry” chant broke out late in the first period for goalie Tristan Jarry.