It's been nearly 300 days since the Buffalo Sabres played a game at the First Niagara Center. Now that hockey is back, fans are going wild.
YNN's Kate McGowan caught up with Sabres fanatics as they celebrated the start to this highly-anticipated season.
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Blue and gold were the colors many were proud to sport at the First Niagara Center, Sunday.
"I've been waiting for this day," Sherry Pomeroy from Orchard Park said.
Sabres fans came out by the thousands for the season home opener, against the Philadelphia Flyers.
"We're so excited for the first game," a fan exclaimed.
From the concession stands, to the Sabres store, large crowds were in the Sabres spirit.
The NHL lockout wiped out more than three months of hockey season and it's been close to 300 days since the Sabres last played a game at the First Niagara Center.
Matthew Cramer expressed, "It feels pretty awesome. I'm excited the Sabres are back."
This marks the first of 24 home games, 48 this season. And fans said it's nothing less than pure excitement.
"Feels great. Like just the experience being here is awesome," one said.
Pomeroy explained, "For me, when those lights go down and the pre-game starts, it's a wonderful experience. Exhilarating, relaxing and just totally enjoyable."
"I'm glad that we're back here," another added.
Team owner, Terry Pegula greeted fans before the game. He said it's a moment he's been waiting for and said he has high expectations for his players.
"What do we expect? More physical team. A team with probably not as much pressure on it as last season. I think they're just going to go out, hopefully we don't get beat up like we did last year. We'll see how it works out!"
Fans had faith and showed off their pride for a team, they said will go all the way to the Stanley Cup.
"Getting back out there, getting in the groove of things and seeing us take it this year," a fan exclaimed.