Bobby Ryan Lifts Senators Past Penguins In OT In Game 1

It was fitting then that the pair of Penguins connected for the only goal late in the third period that tied the Eastern Conference finals at one game apiece.

The Senators are acutely aware, however, that he has always enjoyed considerable success against Ottawa in the playoffs, with 33 points (14 goals, 19 assists) in 21 prior playoff games involving the two teams. There were some shots from in close, there were hit posts, but there were no goals.

A series of unlikely and freakish events can conspire to lead a largely unheralded team to a surprising Stanley Cup title.

Going into game two, the Penguins should be looking to really spark some offence.

The Senators love clogging the middle of the ice. "They can slow it down, they can accelerate", said Boucher.

On Twitter, some folks may have suggested during the second intermission that the Sens' defence-first approach to Game 1 was proving less than thrilling. The other was the 4-2 win - including an empty net goal from Pageau - over the New York Rangers in Game 6 that clinched the Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Instead, Pittsburgh's issues came after it gained the offensive zone. "We knew we weren't going to get four in a row". Sure we do. And we encourage it.

And keep the lead, while you're at it. But for a backup goalie who was just OK during the regular season, you have to wonder if Fleury is coming back down to earth. Craig Anderson, Bobby Ryan, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Kyle Turris and the duo of Ceci and Phaneuf were particularly strong, some expected and some cases of stepping up to fill their role perhaps a little more effectively than usual. "We got 35 shots and we outshot them even though they got a lot of power plays".

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But with the 25-year-old Judge, a 6-7, 280-pound outfielder out of Fresno State, the Yankees do seem to have new energy. Before that, the Cardinals had put together a couple runs in the fourth, but had been nearly silent since offensively.

As for Fleury, he was hardly tested as much, though he did make one marvelous save on Ottawa's Ryan Dzingel, who was alone at the side of the net but could not get it over the goal line.

The Penguins answered the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round and the Capitals in the second with similar styles of play.

"When they scored their goal, nothing changed on the bench", said Boucher. The Penguins threw pucks at the net all night, but just couldn't get it past Anderson. This group has embraced the underdog role, buoyed by defenseman Erik Karlsson's tireless brilliance and a style created to frustrate opponents into submission.

Frustrated by an inability to get anything by Ottawa's Craig Anderson, cameras caught Kessel pounding his fists and ordering his teammates to look for him.

Crosby only has three games this playoff season in which he didn't register a point - including the Game 3 loss to Washington in which he suffered a concussion early in the first period. The Penguins came back to win Game 2, and eventually, the series. Bobby Ryan, the hero of Game 1, certainly looked prepared for a battle. He wants the puck at all times. "We're not going to get into a game where we're sitting back waiting". The results weren't there, but there may have been some bad luck to blame, too. Hornqvist hit post to start the power play but from there the Senators did a good job limiting Pittsburgh's chances on Anderson.

Resiliency may be the Penguins' greatest character trait.

The Penguins were having a awful time creating chances in Game 1, so Monday was a flipping of the script. Another reason for optimism?

Here are the lines for tonight's game according to Pens Inside Scoop on Twitter.


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