Stanley Cup Playoffs: Ottawa Senators Look Good After Game 1 Victory

The puck zipped over Fleury's glove and suddenly Ottawa had the lead of both the game and the series. That performance shows this team has the heart of a champion, especially goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who had given up nine goals in the previous two games combined.

Basically, the Penguins are as top-heavy as a hippo with giraffe legs.

It's also possible the Penguins looked at this matchup on paper and felt as though they were the superior team. It's kind of insane. "I think this is something that's crept into our game over the last few weeks, and I think we've got to simplify our game a little bit and just look for opportunities to put more pucks at the net, and then we've got to get guys that are going to go to the net and try to compete for those rebounds and those next play opportunities". They've got a lot of star power.

Pittsburgh was held to 18 even-strength shots over the course of its game, with an additional 10 coming during five power plays.

The 1991 Penguins did it, too, with Lemieux plus Mark Recchi, Stevens and Larry Murphy on a team that also included Francis, Paul Coffey and a 19-year-old Jagr.

After getting phone calls from Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey, he chose Edmonton.

Those sound like flattering comparisons, but these Penguins aren't those powerhouses, and they aren't close. One shot every 52-seconds against a team that is down a skater is not good.

Senators goalie Craig Anderson is two wins shy of matching Patrick Lalime's franchise record for career playoff wins after picking up his 19th. The problem wasn't Ottawa's neutral zone trap created to slow teams down but a decided lack of aggression once Malkin, captain Sidney Crosby and company crossed the Senators' blue line. Fleury saved his best for when it mattered most, recording a 29-save shutout in a 2-0 triumph over Washington in Game 7 of the second-round series to improve his goals-against average (2.55) and save percentage (.927).

How else, in the name of Mario Lemieux and Ron Francis, can the Senators conceivably take four out of seven from the defending Cup champions?

The Pens had the third-best power play in the National Hockey League in the regular season but went a pedestrian 0-for-5 against Ottawa in Game 1.

Unlike the Penguins, the Senators chose not to skate Sunday. Mike Hoffman scored in all three encounters with Pittsburgh this season and tallied in each of the last two contests against NY.

"Everything else above that, beyond that, we've never paid attention to, and we're not going to start doing that right now".

Offence is key and the Penguins really have to get it going if they want any chance at beating these pesky Senators. "We've been dealing with injuries this season and last season and there's always got to be the next guy who steps up". We've got to exercise some patience. "I thought we did a pretty solid job in containting that". And maybe it might be one of those cases where we have to wait for our next shift.

"As much as you watch video and as much as you talk about it, experience is something different", said Penguins defenseman Ian Cole. Some players come alive in the postseason, and Pageau seems to be finding his stride for Ottawa at just the right time.

  • Julie Sanders