Pittsburgh Penguins Vs. Ottawa Senators Game 2

Ross Houston
May 26, 2017

The Pittsburgh Penguins most hard path to repeating as NHL champions may have come in the semi-finals of the Eastern Conference when they ousted the league's best team during the regular season, the Washington Senators.

The goal gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead over the Senators, a score that would stick the rest of the way as the Penguins defeated the Senators Monday at PPG Paints Arena to even up the Eastern Conference Finals at 1-1.

Ryan is, of course, the star of the evening with his overtime game-winner and handsome assist on the Senators' opening goal.

Pekka Rinne made 27 saves for the Predators, who continued their dominant surge through these Stanley Cup playoffs with a strong start and a gritty overtime effort after Hampus Lindholm's first playoff goal in two years tied it for the Ducks.

Fleury held off a last-minute push from Ottawa to preserve his 11th career Stanley Cup playoff shutout, allowing Pittsburgh to even up this best-of-seven series at one game apiece. Ryan, in alone, went top shelf on the backhand to beat Marc-Andre Fleury at 4:59 of overtime. We've got a group where there's not a lot said.

If the first 10 minutes are pivotal, the Senators were able to survive it. "Everything else above that, beyond that, we've never paid attention to, and we're not going to start doing that right now".

"I'm feeling sad for them, but it was one game, we have six games left, we can do this, this team can do this", Sherry Kuzma said.

It might be tempting to take Ottawa and its dynamic defenseman Erik Karlsson in the series just because their price is so inviting.

This is the fifth playoff series between the clubs; Pittsburgh has won three of four and three straight.

For the Senators to be coming home with a split is great, but taking both on Penguin home ice would be tremendous and force the Pens to win 4 of the next 5 games, not impossible but certainly a daunting task for any team against any opponent.

"At the time, they didn't have much on the back end", said the 26-year old Kelowna, B.C., native. If the Senators can steal Game 2 in Pittsburgh, we could be looking at a new favorite to win the Stanley Cup.

"If we mismanage the puck", Pittsburgh centre Nick Bonino said, "they're going to make you pay". While Ottawa hardly seemed overcome by the stage, the neutral zone trap coach Guy Boucher installed upon his hiring last spring didn't exactly cause the Penguins problems.

In the wake of their latest humbling of the Washington Capitals, Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins are seen by oddsmakers as capable of repeating as the Stanley Cup champions. Crosby, who has 14 points, does the same for the Penguins.

"There were some good looks there", said Crosby, who had just two shots in 23:32 of ice time. "We believe in the way we play, and I'm sure they believe in the way they play".

Game 2 will be where the real litmus test lies, and if the Penguins can adjust to a different brand of hockey before the series heads to Ottawa. Just don't mistake the joy that spilled onto the ice after beating the Rangers in six games with satisfaction. "It's a refresh, I think, for me".

The 1-3-1 was on display in Game 1 and the Senators turned in a masterful road performance on Saturday night limiting the high-scoring Penguins to just a lone goal.

Game 2 is Sunday night.

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