Not bad for starters, not bad at all.
Bobby Ryan's second overtime goal of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs was the difference-maker Saturday as the Ottawa Senators beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in the opening game of the Eastern Conference Final.
Bobby Ryan, who had an extra gear all night, caught Maatta flat-footed in overtime, bursting past the Penguins defenceman to score the breakaway victor.
Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan gives instructions to the team during the first period of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs against the Ottawa Senators, Monday, May 15, 2017, in Pittsburgh. "So if it's there, I'm going to step up".
After Evgeni Malkin scored to tie Saturday's game 1-1 with 5:35 remaining in regulation, Penguins fans were on their feet and in full voice.
"I think you've got to play the way that gets you here", Crosby said.
But the group stood tall in the opening two rounds and the Penguins went into Saturday's game leading the playoffs with 250 blocks - nearly 21 per game. "Whether the stage is bigger or not, our show can't change, and we're not going to change our approach in that regard". If anything, his outburst was simply the physical manifestation of Sullivan's order to stop looking for the ideal shot and just start peppering Anderson looking for a sliver of space.More news: Top prospect Mohamed Bamba chooses to attend Texas
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This is a burden the entire Penguins team has to share and quickly fix or else they'll be in an 0-2 hole going to Ottawa. Alex Burrows was there to follow through to put the puck in the net when Fleury looked like he had it covered bu the NHL's situation room ruled the whistle had been blown. Their neutral zone trap, specifically the 1-3-1 formation, is a migraine for teams who like to carry the puck - like the Pittsburgh Penguins, for example.
That didn't sit well with the Senators or their faithful.
Boucher was impressed with the club's effort, especially when the Penguins were awarded five power plays - including four in the first - and didn't score on any of them. They then took a bench minor penalty for too many men on the ice, giving the Penguins' vaunted power play a two-man advantage for 45 seconds. Pageau's eight goals are the second-most by a Senators player during a single postseason.
It was the type of punch back the Senators were expecting from the defending Stanley Cup champions, but they had no answer, and now head home all square. The breakthrough came 14:32 into the first when Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin left a blind drop pass behind his net that Ryan intercepted and slipped to Pageau in the right circle. Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) makes a kick save on a shot during the first period of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final in the NHL Stanley Cup hockey playoffs against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Sa. The Senators went almost 19 minutes without putting a shot on Fleury. Erik Karlsson is solidifying his status as the NHL's best defenseman, and players like Jean-Gabriel Pageau are proving their worth.
He had gotten help earlier when Ron Hainsey's shot from the point was tipped by Jake Guentzel off the crossbar.
As a result, Ottawa killed all five Pittsburgh power plays, including 45 seconds of 5-on-3 play, and did not allow a plethora of risky chances around the net. And when we can't, we've got to hang on to the puck. "I just wound up, took a look, and everybody was diving, and legs were trying to get in the way of the shot".
One of the subplots of Game 2 will be the battle to determine how this series is going to be played.