Penguins knot series with 1-0 Game 2 victory over Senators

Bobby Ryan Lifts Senators Past Penguins In OT In Game 1

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

Unlike in the regular season, the Sens managed to control the shot and shot attempt battle at 5-on-5 thanks to patient play, quick counterattack, and good puck support in all three zones. The last team whose top four scorers had more goals and points than everybody else combined on a Stanley Cup-winning team was. the 1992 Pittsburgh Penguins, when Mario Lemieux, Kevin Stevens, Ron Francis and a 20-year-old Jaromir Jagr accounted for 48 of Pittsburgh's 83 playoff goals, and produced 113 combined points to 104 for everyone else.

A team can enter the playoffs as a longshot, lose their first game, endure early questions about their goaltending and yet, finish with nothing but superlatives about their netminding. One shot every 52-seconds against a team that is down a skater is not good. "We're going to have to play at the level we're capable of".

Despite a shortage of goals, Game 2 certainly wasn't boring.

The Senators thought they might have taken a 2-0 lead at 12:48 of the second on a wraparound play by Alexandre Burrows. They won the Cup, they know how to win and they're a confident group.

Now, does anyone out there believe in history repeating itself?

The Senators opened the Eastern Conference final according to coach Guy Boucher's plan by frustrating the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins - including holding them to 0-for-5 on the power play - as Bobby Ryan scored the victor to give Ottawa 2-1 overtime victory at the PPG Paints Arena.

Perhaps the musical intimidation worked, because it would be Ottawa scoring first - specifically, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, the man who terrorized NY so thoroughly in Game 2 of the previous series. In games three and four of the Rangers series, NY found a way through the neutral zone by making one touch passes to the middle of the ice to spring their centre for odd man rushes. The Senators took a hooking penalty 3:43 into the match, but held on. "From the flipside, the positive is we lost in overtime, so I think we were able to weather the storm in terms of how (Nashville) came out". For starters, if you picked the Pens to win in five, you're right on track with your prediction - obviously, the Pens aren't in trouble after just one game. We've kind of had that feeling from the start that we had nothing to lose. When you're turning pucks over, they're going to come back and they're going to get chances.

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Kessel had gone three games with no points and had just one point, a goal, in his previous five games.

If you can get past the marquee draws - the guys named Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel and Marc-Andre Fleury - the Pittsburgh Penguins do, indeed, have a weak spot. They had just beaten the best team in the National Hockey League this winter, the Washington Capitals, and were now, surprisingly, up against the upstart Ottawa Senators, who had reached the conference final by defeating the New York Rangers.

Fleury and Kessel shared the spotlight, especially after the right winger finally figured out Anderson. I dont think we let too much go over our head.

For Boucher, it boils down to an all business approach.

One of the most noticeable aspects of their success is their completeness.

"But I don't think it was something that just happened last night", Sullivan said. "There's no change before the game, between periods". We've got to embrace it.

"We were very calm".

Those first 10 minutes should have been a disaster for such a plan. "They can slow it down, they can accelerate", said Boucher. We didn't do any extraordinary things.

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