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Penguins vs Senators

(Page 4 of 4)
Penguins vs Senators - 2013 SCP Conference Semifinals

Dupuis' hard work paying off in postseason success

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

PITTSBURGH -- At the time, winning the Stanley Cup in 2009 was the crowning achievement of Pascal Dupuis' hockey career.

Pascal Dupuis
Right Wing - PIT
GOALS: 6 | ASST: 2 | PTS: 8
SOG: 22 | +/-: 2
At 30 years old, though, Dupuis felt there was more to accomplish on the ice.

He was not a driving force in Pittsburgh's championship run. He had zero points in 16 postseason games after putting together a respectable regular season that saw him total 12 goals and 28 points. So even as he lived it up that championship summer, gorging on the spoils befitting a winner, a hunger gnawed at him just under the surface.

Dupuis wanted to be more of the story the next time he made a postseason run.

"The [Stanley] Cup showed up at my door that summer in '09 and I told everyone around, including my wife, that the next time I win it, I'll be a big part of it," he said.

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Five reasons Penguins power play is excelling

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins have been absolutely lethal on the power play this postseason.

Their man-advantage performance likely was the telling factor in a more tense-than-expected first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the New York Islanders. In that six-game victory, the Pittsburgh power play went 7-for-21, scoring in four of the games and providing a pair of winning goals.

Tuesday, in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, it was the difference against the Ottawa Senators, who entered the series as one of the hottest teams in the playoffs.

Pittsburgh got power-play goals from Paul Martin and Chris Kunitz to build a 3-1 lead in what became a 4-1 victory. Afterward, the Senators, to a man, suggested the game was far more even than the score suggested and that special-teams play was the critical difference.

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Senators confident they'll be better in Game 2

Chris Adamski - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- A month away from his 28th birthday and in his seventh NHL season, Marc Methot isn't among the youngest of the Ottawa Senators. But just like some of his six teammates who were born in the 1990s, Methot felt the butterflies stepping onto the ice for a conference semifinal Stanley Cup Playoff game for the first time Tuesday night.

"Oh, I felt it in the first couple shifts; I felt a little tight," the defenseman said. "Maybe a little nervous; you're so excited and looking forward to getting in the game and all amped up and you might be gripping your stick maybe a little too hard."

If Methot -- considered one of the Senators' team leaders -- had to navigate his way through nerves in playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs' second round, imagine how some of the youngest Ottawa players must have felt.

"There's a lot of pressure on some of the players here to perform, and when you're in the second round, you're even more under the spotlight," Methot said. "You get that first game out of the way, guys can maybe calm down a little bit more and play their game."

That's the Senators' plan after a 4-1 loss to the No. 1 seed Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1. Game 2 is 7:30 p.m. Friday at Consol Energy Center.

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Senators seek some answers after Game 1 loss

Wednesday, 05.15.2013 / 12:11 AM / Penguins vs Senators - 2013 SCP Conference Semifinals

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

PITTSBURGH -- The Ottawa Senators will have a lot to think about for the next three days.

After experiencing almost nothing but success during a five-game ouster of the Montreal Canadiens, the Senators learned Tuesday night what it is like to be on the wrong end of a steamrolling.

The Pittsburgh Penguins scored a pair of power-play goals, added another while shorthanded, and received 35 saves from Tomas Vokoun to fashion a convincing 4-1 victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at Consol Energy Center.

Game 2 of this best-of-7 series is not until Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

"They played a little bit better than we did today, and we've got to come out better next game and be more prepared," Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson said. "They scored an early goal on us and set us back a bit. Need to just keep improving for every game and we know it's going to be harder and harder."

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Penguins power play dooms Senators in Game 1

Wednesday, 05.15.2013 / 12:10 AM / Penguins vs Senators - 2013 SCP Conference Semifinals

Chris Adamski - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Part of the difficulty in stifling the lethal Pittsburgh Penguins power play is that the one you deny in the first period might not be the unit you see in the second.

Blessed not only with a deep collection of talent, the Penguins can attack a penalty kill with a number of looks.

Almost all of them seem to work.

Buoyed by a 2-for-4 showing in a 4-1 victory against the Ottawa Senators in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference Semifinal series Tuesday night, Pittsburgh improved its NHL-best Stanley Cup Playoffs power-play conversion rate to 36 percent (9-for-25).

"Their power play is good," Senators goalie Craig Anderson said after allowing 5-on-4 goals to Paul Martin and Chris Kunitz in Game 1. "We knew that going in. If we want to have a good chance to win a game, we're going to have to shoot (it) down ... It's huge for them."

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Letang shines in all situations for Penguins

Chris Adamski - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Kris Letang said Monday he did not become a defenseman as a teenager just so he'd get to be on the ice more often during games.

That's just an added benefit.

Letang is seemingly everywhere in every situation for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who open their Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

One of three finalists for the Norris Trophy as the top defenseman in the NHL, Letang's value to the Penguins was on display in a six-game quarterfinal series victory against the New York Islanders.

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Alfredsson's leadership as valuable as ever to Sens

Erin Nicks - NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- The renaissance of Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson continues, from the blades of his skates to his unruly mop of blonde curls -- which, until now, hadn't made an appearance since his prime.

The 40-year-old Swede should be in the twilight of his career, but ignited by a youthful squad, he has led his team through adversity and into the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Alfredsson's experiences with the Senators during the Stanley Cup Playoffs have run the gamut during his 17-season career. From the frustrating losses to the Toronto Maple Leafs four times in five years, to the excitement of experiencing his first Stanley Cup Final in 2007, only to lose to the Anaheim Ducks -- it's a long resume, but hoisting the most recognized trophy in sports so far has eluded the Ottawa captain.

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Senators understand challenge Penguins will present

Erin Nicks - NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators learned Saturday night that they would be facing the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, leading some to wonder how the Senators will handle another round of drama after their emotional series with the Montreal Canadiens.

The Senators have a postseason history with the Penguins -- they haven't beaten Pittsburgh in the playoffs since 2007, where they were victorious in the first round en route to an appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, and eventual loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Since that time, the Senators have lost twice to the Penguins, in 2008 and 2010, both series taking place in the quarterfinals.

The incident this season involving Penguins wing Matt Cooke and Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson did nothing to warm relations between the two clubs. Cooke's skate sliced through the left Achilles tendon of Karlsson during a game on Feb. 13, and the Swede required surgery to repair the cut.

Much was made of the incident at the time, but Karlsson is ready to move forward and refuses to let history become a distraction.

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Penguins vs. Senators series preview

Shawn P. Roarke and Arpon Basu - NHL.com

Penguins

  Seed: 136-12-072 Pts.

Senators

  Seed: 725-17-656 Pts.
The Pittsburgh Penguins had to work a lot harder than anyone thought they would to get past the New York Islanders in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Their next hurdle figures to be even tougher.

Though the Ottawa Senators were seeded seventh, they didn't play like a lower seed. They dominated the Montreal Canadiens in the first round with a physical style of play, one much like the Islanders used to make life miserable for the Penguins.

Pittsburgh swept Ottawa in their three-game season series. On Jan. 27, Evgeni Malkin registered the winning goal in a 2-1 shootout victory. It came against Ben Bishop, who was later traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

On Feb. 13, the Penguins won 4-2 on the strength two goals by James Neal and one each from Pascal Dupuis and Sidney Crosby.

On April 22, the Penguins won 3-1. Dustin Jeffrey, Jarome Iginla and Taylor Kennedy had the goals for the Penguins, and backup goalie Tomas Vokoun stopped 34 of 35 shots to outduel Craig Anderson.

That doesn't mean the Penguins expect an easy time in round two.

"We've played them in the past and they always battle," Dupuis said. "Their building gets shaking at times. They're a team that obviously played well in the first round and beat Montreal, [a] seven [seed] beat a two [seed]. So it should be a good matchup."

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Penguins, Senators renew rivalry in second round

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The Pittsburgh Penguins had to work a lot harder than anyone thought they would to get past the New York Islanders in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Their next hurdle figures to be even tougher.

While the Penguins had to go to overtime of Game 6 in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series, the Ottawa Senators were watching on TV after closing out the second-seeded Montreal Canadiens in five games on Thursday.

Though the Senators were seeded seventh, they didn’t play like a lower seed. They dominated the Canadiens with a physical style of play, one much like the Islanders used to make life miserable for the Penguins in the first round. Pittsburgh had to win back-to-back games after New York earned a split of the first four, and had to overcome three one-goal deficits before winning Game 6 in overtime.

Pittsburgh swept Ottawa in their three-game season series. On Jan. 27, Evgeni Malkin registered the winning goal in a 2-1 shootout victory. It came against Ben Bishop, who was later traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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Quote of the Day

I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh