Bobby Ryan Lifts Senators Past Penguins In OT In Game 1

Posted May 15, 2017

The Ottawa right winger scored the winning goal in overtime and added an assist in a 2-1 Game One win at Pittsburgh.

The Penguins trail in a series for the first time this post-season after dropping Game 1 to the Senators, but Pittsburgh believes they can and will be better as the series progresses.

The flip side, of course, is the Penguins have Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel, and the Senators do not, but former National Hockey League goaltending coach Jim Corsi said Karlsson has the ability to turn Pittsburgh from a team that plays on its toes most of the time, a team that pushes and attacks through the neutral zone, into a team that has no choice but to play on its heels.

Ottawa is trying to win a Stanley Cup with a team nobody believed in, with the magic of overtime goals and comeback wins, and given the state of these playoffs, who knows? One game in and the Senators have already done to the Penguins what Washington and Columbus could not: grab control of the series. How's Craig Anderson been?

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 33 shots for the Penguins.

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

Pittsburgh was held to 18 even-strength shots over the course of its game, with an additional 10 coming during five power plays. He saw what the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers responded to them and those teams aren't as good as the one they're facing in the Eastern Conference final.

Lee came back to set up J.T. Compher's goal for the US, but another moment of indiscipline from Clayton Keller gave the Latvians yet another power play chance, duly taken by Oskars Cibulskis on a rebound after Connor Hellebuyck blocked Miks Indrasis' initial shot.

Instead, Pittsburgh's issues came after it gained the offensive zone.

The Penguins enter the series a heavy favorite after winning the Cup previous year and ousting Washington in the second round in a battle between the NHL's two winningest teams this season. Only the fourth line led by 40-year-old Matt Cullen — and not the top two led by Malkin and Sidney Crosby — seemed intent on getting to the Ottawa net.

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Pittsburgh had 5:50 of power-play time in the first period, including 45 seconds of five-on-three play. Ron Hainsey hit the crossbar early and Patric Hornqvist dinged the left post but that's as close as Pittsburgh would get to slipping one by Anderson.

From behind the Penguins net after a turnover by Pittsburgh defenceman Brian Dumoulin, Ryan sent a soft backhander out front to Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who one-timed the puck past the glove of Fleury at 14:32.

A series of unlikely and freakish events can conspire to lead a largely unheralded team to a surprising Stanley Cup title. Coach Guy Boucher spoke of the team's "pack mentality" and how it served them really well in Game 1, defending not only against Crosby, but the entire Penguin team. The problem wasn't Ottawa's neutral zone trap created to slow teams down but a decided lack of aggression once Malkin, captain Sidney Crosby and company crossed the Senators' blue line. It was his 148th career postseason point, good for third all-time in Penguins' franchise history. Alex Burrows was quick to pounce on the puck and shove it past Fleury, with replays showing the puck eventually found its way into the goal. The call was upheld upon review. He trails Daniel Alfredsson, who recorded 14 during 2007 run to the Cup Final.

It's safe to say the Senators executed their defensive plan nearly perfectly against the Penguins in Game 1.

NOTES: Pittsburgh LW Carl Hagelin (lower body) and D Trevor Daley (lower body) missed the game, and RW Tom Kuhnhackl was a healthy scratch for the second straight game.

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Stay on topic - This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. "The building kind of got quiet, we kind of got quiet".