Published: Thu, May 25, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Bobby Ryan's OT goal helps Senators stun Penguins in Game 1


Ottawa Senators' Jean-Gabriel Pageau (44) celebrates with teammates Mark Stone (61) and Bobby Ryan (9) after scoring against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Saturday, May 13, 2017, in Pittsburgh.

There was a popular narrative for the Pittsburgh Penguins at the end of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final on Saturday - they didn't show up. Ottawa won 2-1 in overtime. "It wasn't fun to live", said coach Guy Boucher Sunday.

Consider the forward all caught up. While the game ended 2-1 in overtime thanks to one Bobby Ryan, the underlying numbers behind the loss for the Penguins aren't great. "You just want to not get too high after one win". The past two games between the teams at PPG Paints Arena averaged 12 goals, with each easily going over the total. We're not going to hang our heads if we don't have success.

The Senators improved to 6-1 when pushed beyond regulation during the postseason to give them early control of the best-of-seven series against the defending Stanley Cup champions, a matchup few outside of the guys in the red, white and black jerseys gave them a shot of winning.

Phil Kessel beat Craig Anderson with a wrist shot 13:05 into the third period as Pittsburgh finally broke through against the Ottawa's packed-in defense. I think five-on-five, I think we're double the shots, or something like that. And when we can't, we've got to hang on to the puck. If anything, he's embraced it. The Senators' defense is created to force the Penguins and their waves of highly skilled playmakers into making sloppy mistakes.

When Daley went down in Game 5 against Washington, the Penguins lost another veteran of 60 post-season games.

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The team that spent most of the season trying to figure out roles in first-year coach Guy Boucher's throwback 1-3-1 neutral-zone trap and the goalie who spent half the season away from the ice helping his wife undergo cancer treatment are more than just a feel-good story. But if we pay special attention to Crosby, then Malkin's going to give it to us.

The Penguins were doing everything right.

The victory was Ottawa's sixth in overtime this postseason and the goal was Ryan's third game victor of the spring.

He also had an overtime victor in the first round against the Boston Bruins. Hornqvist's shot rang off the post.

More than a third of Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson's 23 minutes, 58 seconds of five-on-five ice time matched him up with Penguins center Sidney Crosby, and the Senators' star blue-liner committed considerably less time and energy to defending the lines centered by Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bonino. The Penguins not only allow a pantload of scoring chances, they are usually of a risky quality. "Ottawa" replied successful outing - Ryan intercepted the puck at the gate and gave a ideal pass to Pajot, who remained a few meters away to slam the disc into the net. They were stymied by the Senators' defensive style, but now they've had the chance to review game tape and adjust accordingly to this new style of play. Rather, the Sens just outnumbered the Pens when they tried to gain the attacking zone, with three players generally back and a fourth applying pressure, and were quick to transition the puck, with the increased support that Colin mentioned.

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