Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier continues to give Pittsburgh fans reason to cheer.
Shazier, who is rehabilitating from a serious spinal injury, stood and pumped up the crowd at PPG Paints Arena on Wednesday as the hometown Penguins faced off against the Keystone State-rival Philadelphia Flyers in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.
The 25-year-old greeted the audience with a microphone and declared "it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh."
Shazier then continually chanted "Let's go Pens" to set the tone for the home team, which jumped out to an early three-goal lead and breezed to a 7-0 romp over the Flyers.
While Shazier is making strides in his recovery from the serious injury he sustained on Dec. 4, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert has already announced that he will not be able to play in the 2018 season.
Shazier was injured after he hit Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Josh Malone low with his shoulder pads. Shazier, who then immediately reached for his back while his legs remained motionless, underwent spinal stabilization surgery two days later.
Shazier finished with 89 tackles, three interceptions, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and 11 passes defensed in 12 games this past season. In four NFL seasons, Shazier has 299 tackles, seven sacks, seven forced fumbles and seven interceptions.