The Ottawa Senators drew first blood in the NHL Easter Conference Finals, taking the first game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pens look to even things up in Game 2 on May 15, so tune in when the puck drops around 8:00 PM ET.
Though the Ottawa Senators entered the first game against the defending Stanley Cup champions as the underdogs, they left the winners, handing the Pittsburgh Penguins a frustrating 2-1 loss. The Pens will get a chance for revenge, as the series remains in Pittsburgh. These two will clash at the PPG Paints Arena, before the series heads north to the Canadian Tire Center in Ottawa. Can the Penguins build some momentum before they travel up to Canada, or will the Senators put the champs behind a 0-2 deficit?
Ottawa got the edge in this series, thanks to an overtime goal scored by Bobby Ryan. The 30-year-old Senators winger scored his fifth goal of the playoffs, breaking away from the pack to flick the puck past Marc-Andre Fleury. The 2-1 victory allowed the Senators to get ahead of the Penguins, something the Columbus Blue Jackets and Washington Capitals failed to do. The victory also might have been the breakthrough Bobby’s been looking for since adjusting to coach Guy Bucher’s new management style.
“I knew at some point those pucks I’d been chasing all year long, they were going to come,” Bobby said after the game, according to ESPN. “You just want to redeem yourself. You let your teammates down (during the regular season). Now I’m getting to redeem myself a little bit. That’s all I’m trying to do.” If he keeps redeeming himself like that, the Senators will get to their first Stanley Cup Finals since 2007.
Perhaps exhaustion took its toll on the Pens. They just got done fighting the Capitals to a full 7-game series. Ottawa, while needing six games to take out the New York Rangers, had a little more time to recuperate before this first meeting. “Rest is a weapon. It is big this time of year,” Bobby told ESPN. “Guys that have played all 82 (games) are into the 90s now. It’s important. There’s nothing systematically that you need to work on. You can address it, but you can make those changes on the fly. So, a chance to give your body recovery is huge.” Hopefully the Pens got a good night sleep or the Senators will put them to bed before they know it.
Who do you want to win this series, HollywoodLifers? Do you want to see Pittsburgh repeat or do you want to Senators to skate to the Stanley Cup?