Kovacevic: Smart, slick start for new Penguins

The horn sounded on the 48th NHL opener to be played on Pittsburgh ice Thursday night, the big scoreboard at Consol Energy Center showed a 6-4 victory over the Western Conference powerhouse Ducks, and the home locker room was whooping it up with high-fives and attaboys all around.

Until Pascal Dupuis, as he'd devilishly retell the tale later, pierced through that din.

"Flower! What was that?" No. 9 recalled shouting in furious tone in the direction of Marc-Andre Fleury, making transparent reference to the goaltender's second-period gaffe that gave Anaheim a goal an fresh life in the game. "You're killing us out there, man! Just killing us!"

This, of course, caught the attention of absolutely no one who knows Dupuis' playful personality, never mind his deep friendship with Fleury.

"They knew I was kidding."

But then, not everyone knows Dupuis just yet.

Patric Hornqvist, newcomer by way of Nashville, began to rush to his goaltender's defense by beseeching Dupuis, "Come on, Duper, he's ..."

And then he saw Dupuis' grin, and all concerned -- Fleury included -- had quite the laugh.

"It's going to take us some time," Dupuis said. "We're just getting to know each other. A lot of stuff feels really new."

Oh, it's new, all right.

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