Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Penguins knot series with 1-0 Game 2 victory over Senators

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Frederick Owens | 24 May, 2017, 06:55

Game 1 of the NHL Eastern Conference final didn't exactly go according to plan for the Penguins, and after beating the Pens in overtime Saturday night, it's the underdog Senators that have the early advantage in the series.

Ryan moved past Olli Maatta before firing a shot beyond Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

A day after they slowed, stalled and ultimately outlasted the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on the road in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final, the Ottawa Senators found much of the narrative surrounding them carried a hey-how'd-you-do-that tone.

Ottawa Senators' Dion Phaneuf (2) checks Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) in the crease during the first period of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Saturday, May 13, 2017, in Pittsburgh.

Game two of the best-of-seven series is on Monday. The chorus has grown so loud over the last month, tuning it out simply wasn't an option no matter how many one-goal victories they pulled off in the playoffs.

Trevor Daley has yet to return to the Penguins' lineup, another possible factor in the Game 1 loss.

Pittsburgh trailed 1-0 following the first period in Game 1 after it failed to convert on four power plays. And when we can't, we've got to hang on to the puck. "I just think we have to recognize where the opportunities are on the rink to create, and there's going to be some situations where we can't".

The Penguins are similar to the Rangers in that they boast so much speed and skill - "thinking speed", in Ottawa coach Guy Boucher's words - but their defence looks a bit like the Boston Bruins squad the Senators faced to start the playoffs. "You want to dictate". Pageau was ready for the ploy and snapped the puck in past Fleury for his eighth goal of the postseason.

The defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins aren't quite ready to surrender their title to the Ottawa Senators. Game 2 is set for Monday in Pittsburgh. Anderson was the thorn in the Penguins' side in the period preventing them for taking control of the game.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Ottawa Senators at Pittsburgh Penguins
Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports

Evgeni Malkin flicked a pass to Kessel, who skated into the high slot and unloaded a wrister that trickled under the left pad of Craig Anderson.

Pittsburgh only had 72 hours to recharge following a draining seven-game series against Washington.

Ryan ended the game with a backhander at 4:59 in overtime, the fifth OT-winner of his career and the sixth extra-time win of the 2017 postseason for the Senators.

Kessel has 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in 13 games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"I don't read Twitter", Boucher said. The Senators went almost 19 minutes between the second and third period without recording a single shot, a testament to Pittsburgh's ability to play keepaway on the other end of the ice.

Six of Pageau's tallies have come in Ottawa's last five playoff games.

The Senators can't afford to take anything for granted because they played one good game and, it's fair to say, they haven't seen the best from the Penguins. Sidney Crosby didn't look like himself and that was certainly a big part of it. Pittsburgh was coming off a couple of series where both of their opponents forechecked aggressively and attacked in waves.

More Penguins injured: The Penguins' defense took another serious blow when their best remaining offensive defenseman, Justin Schultz, crashed into the boards in the first period and left the ice, heading directly down the tunnel.

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