Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

National Hockey League roundup: Senators get jump on Penguins

Bobby Ryan scored at 4:59 of overtime to give the Ottawa Senators a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final Saturday night at PPG Paints Arena. In these playoffs, he's been a revelation with 11 points in 13 games so far. "You just want to redeem yourself".

Everything started to turn when he came back from an upper-body injury and scored on the final day of the regular season. "That's all I'm trying to do".

Despite bookmakers still having the Penguins as slight favourites to advance to the Stanley Cup final, teams that win the first game of a playoff series typically go on to win it.

Not that it seems to bother Ottawa.

It's only one game in, but this series already has the look of a seven-game affair.

"It shows a lot of character", Rinne said. If anything, he's embraced it.

HollywoodLifers, who are you rooting for in this series, the Penguins or the Senators? Now Ottawa finds itself on equal footing and hardly appeared intimidated by the stage.

Ottawa, a 1992 expansion team named for an 1883-founded club that won its last Stanley Cup in 1927, lost its only final in 2007 to Anaheim in the Ducks' lone title run.

Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, left, waits to greet Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), from Russian Federation, who is talking with Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) after Game 7 in an NHL hockey Stanley Cup Easter. Their defense was out of this world, holding Washington to only six shots on goal in the third period.

"I think the way our team does that most effectively is with our own puck possession, in forcing him and more of their offensive players to have to expend energy defending us", Sullivan said.

"We've earned our way", Boucher said. "They're there. We hit at least three posts and there's some good looks there". "For me, I feel like it's totally different team played that game".

Well Fleury has been playing phenomenally throughout these playoffs, and he deserves credit. "What is said is received and we go out and do our job", said defenceman Dion Phaneuf.

The Senators focused not on creating extended pressure on Fleury but instead taking advantage of Pittsburgh's mistakes. "They came out and took it to us". He took a handsome no-look backhand pass from Ryan in the slot and fired it by Fleury on the glove side at 14:32 to silence the crowd. After that, the Senators sucked the life right out of the game for most of regulation, controlling 60 percent of the even-strength shot attempts during regulation until Penguins center Evgeni Malkin's deflection on a Chris Kunitz shot tied it late in the third.

Pittsburgh largely dominated the first period in terms of puck possession and quality chances, as the Senators were called for four minor penalties.

Kevin Shattenkirksaid that he would meet with MacLellan today to discuss what kind of role he could play in the future for the Capitals, and while he said he "really enjoyed [his] time" in Washington, he sounded like someone who relishes the chance to enter free agency.

Josi leads the team in short-handed ice time and Ellis is right behind him. We just really keep the same approach.

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