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On this date in Penguins history: Phil Kessel breaks through the Senators trap in 2017

In Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final, Phil Kessel was the difference maker.

Ottawa Senators v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Two Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

After an exhausting first game of the series in which the Penguins were stifled offensively by the Senators trap implemented by Guy Boucher and losing in overtime, the Penguins were looking to even the series at home in Game 2 and avoid falling behind 2-0 in the series.

Somehow, Game 2 managed to be even more frustrating than Game 1, as the Penguins tried and tried and tried to fight their way through the Senators neutral zone trap and just had little to no success.

The first period went by scoreless.

The second period was the same story.

It felt like the Penguins were doing their best defensively, but were just wasting their time offensively.

Enter Phil Kessel.

It felt like yet another entry into the offensive zone that would not produce anything important.

An Evgeni Malkin pass to Kessel in the slot and maybe there’s something there? Shot blocked,

But wait. Kessel gathers himself and quickly wrists another shot and it goes right into the back of the net. 1-0 Penguins.

5 minutes later, 1-1 tied series. Huge.

The Penguins would split the series in Ottawa and exchange home game wins in Game 5 and Game 6 before winning the series at PPG Paints Arena in Game 7.