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Game 1 Recap: Bobby Ryan's OT goal gives Ottawa win

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The Ottawa Senators come in to Pittsburgh and skate away with a 2-1 overtime win. 2 nice plays by Bobby Ryan on both Ottawa goals. The Pens will have to adjust and bounce back for Game 2 on Monday.

Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports

Pregame

The Penguins roll with the same lines and personnel from the last game.

1st period

The Senators take 4 penalties but fail to cash in and look pretty poor despite all the chances.

Ottawa scores the game's first goal when Brian Dumoulin makes an ill-advised drop and Bobby Ryan intercepts and then throws a beautiful pass to Jean-Gabriel Pageau who beats Marc-Andre Fleury.

Despite that, Pittsburgh pretty much carried the play for much of the period, though all those power plays certainly influenced it too. Shots on goal 8-6 for the Pens and this finally looks like a series where they can and will impose some possession on their opponent.

2nd period

More of the same, the Pens push but Craig Anderson makes a ton of saves.

The Senators score again but the refs take it back, ruled to have whistled the play dead just before. Seems like about the first break Pittsburgh has caught.

Shots are 19-18 overall for Pittsburgh after 2 periods.

3rd period

Ottawa plays well in the 3rd, even getting the majority of the shots early. The Pens put a small push on but don't do too much

Finally, the Pens score. Evgeni Malkin had a quiet night up to this point but he gets a nice redirect on a Chris Kunitz shot and it just sneaks under the pads of Anderson to tie it at 1.

After Fleury makes a nice save, Kessel hits the cross-bar.

Overtime

The Senators knock a puck past Justin Schultz and Bryan Rust in the Pens offensive zone and Bobby Ryan is off to the races, zooming past Olli Maatta then lifts a backhand shot over Fleury to give Ottawa Game 1.

Some Thoughts

  • A lot of folks pointing out, accurately so, that this game was a lot like G1 of the 2016 ECF against Tampa. Pittsburgh controlled play for the most of both games and got a ton of power play time but couldn't make the most of it. And they played quality goaltending and the Pens lost. Hopefully that script changes for Game 2.
  • Tough to go 0 for 5 on the PP (with significant 5v3 time) and expect to win.
  • Ottawa is now 6-1 these playoffs in overtime games. They're clearly comfortable and used to playing tight games and finding the rabbit to pull out of their hat. Worked on this night, NBC's Ed Olczyk said the OT winner was their first odd-man rush of the night. Made it count.
  • I'm sure a hangover from last round narrative will start soon if it already hasn't, but no so certain that was necessarily the case. True, the Pens were sloppy. Also true, not a very complete effort all night long. Seemed more a case of not hitting paydirt on all those early PP's and thrown out of sync.
Time will tell, Game 2 is Monday night. Hopefully by then Pittsburgh is able to adjust and take the play more to Ottawa.