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

Solenn Plantier
Mai 19, 2017

When Bobby Ryan burned past Olli Maatta in overtime and scored the victor on Marc-Andre Fleury to give the Senators the early lead on Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference final Saturday, it marked Ottawa's sixth extra time victory of the playoffs.

Ottawa, which won 2-1 in overtime in Game 1 Saturday, took a day away from the ice. "I think it was a complete restart", said Ryan, who set up Pageau's series-opening goal before the latter returned the favor on the former's overtime tally at 4:59 to give Ottawa a 2-1 victory Saturday.

"Our expectation was this was going to be a hard fought series, and that's exactly what is started", said head coach Mike Sullivan. And then Phil Kessel made all that irrelevant.

The Pens need to get the puck on the stick of their captain.

Consider the message delivered.

The Penguins started the night leading the playoffs with 41 goals for, 3.4 per game, and have the leading scorer in the post-season in Evgeni Malkin, who began the night with 18 points. "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".

That's just Kessel being Kessel. They did it to perfection in Game 1 and beat the Stanley Cup champions doing it.

Kessel scored on his own rebound from the slot after his initial shot was blocked by Jean-Gabriel Pageau.

"I caught an edge (with a skate in the ice)".

Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (20), from Denmark, can't get the puck past Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) during the second period of Game 7 in an NHL hockey Stanley Cup Eastern Conference semifinal, W. More impressively, it's his third game-winning goal this playoff season, and his second in overtime.

This victory, however, wasn't the byproduct of 60 minutes of brilliance. The Senators went almost 19 minutes without putting a shot on Fleury.

A team can enter the playoffs as a longshot, lose their first game, endure early questions about their goaltending and yet, finish with nothing but superlatives about their netminding.

The Senators got on the board at 14:32 in the first period. There was no immediate update on the injured players.

Somehow, the Penguins found a way to make it work. "I think this is something that's crept into our game over the last few weeks".

Something the Penguins will need to do in front of a raucous crowd as the Senators try to continue their deepest playoff push in a decade. It's a style that produced both goals in Game 1. Only once have they lost in extra time. "A lot of people were doubting us and nearly made us start doubting ourselves, just because they were Stanley Cup champions a year ago and they have a lot of high-end skill". They still stood up from the Sens blueline to the red line at centre, but didn't aggressively charge at the opponent. "We didn't manage it as well". Needless to say, Ryan was always a quality player, especially in the playoffs, but his rebirth this season has the Senators on the brink of a Stanley Cup appearance. A lot of credit goes to the way he played and was able to shut the door.

Bill West of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review noted right winger Patric Hornqvist was a last-minute scratch.

And for that reason, the Penguins didn't seem terribly panicked or flummoxed that they are trailing in a series for the first time in these playoffs. Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger made a rare appearance at PPG Paints Arena. At the other end of the spectrum, Hainsey, 36, has been pushed to play far more than expected when acquired in a trade-deadline deal.

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