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Playoff Buzz: Ducks try to get even

Anaheim hosts Predators in Game 2 of Western Conference Final

NHL.com @NHL

Welcome to the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoff Buzz, your daily look at the stories impacting the 2016-17 postseason. Game 2 of the Western Conference Final between the Anaheim Ducks and Nashville Predators is Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports). NHL.com writers covering the playoffs will be checking in throughout the day to give you the latest news.

Here is the playoff news for Sunday: 

 

7:00 p.m.
Coach's analysis: Jim Corsi liked what he saw from Ottawa

Prior to the series getting started, former NHL goaltending coach Jim Corsi, who is analyzing the series from the Senators' perspective, said he felt a key to Ottawa's success would be limiting the Penguins' ability to enter the zone with speed. He saw the Senators do that well in Game 1. He also saw them take advantage in the faceoff circle, even after losing a draw. Corsi spoke to Rosen about the Senators in Game 1 and what he expects for Game 2.

 

6:10 p.m.
Sidney Crosby's Game 1 not as bad as stat sheet shows

He was held without a point and limited to two shots on goal, his only two shot attempts in the game, but Crosby's performance in Game 1 was not without merit. He had the puck a lot. His line generated. He nearly had a couple of assists early in the game. It was good, but not nearly good enough. Crosby knows it. Expect some adjustments. NHL.com Senior Writer Dan Rosen has the details.

 

4:45 p.m.
Coach's analysis: Doug Lidster expects Penguins to improve

Former NHL player and coach Doug Lidster, who is analyzing the Eastern Conference Final from the Penguins' perspective, said he could tell Pittsburgh was in for a letdown in Game 1, especially coming off an emotional seven-game roller-coaster series against the Washington Capitals in the second round. Lidster told Benjamin that he expects the defending champions to come out like champions in Game 2.

 

4:40 p.m.
Carl Hagelin practices, mum on his chances of playing

Penguins forward Carl Hagelin practiced Sunday, but he would not say if he felt good enough to play in Game 2, leading to some speculation that he was kept out of the lineup as a healthy scratch, not because of injury. In addition, Patric Hornqvist and Carter Rowney did not practice. NHL.com Correspondent Wes Crosby has all the news.

 

3:50 p.m.
Mother's Day extra special to some key Senators players

Mother's Day took on a different meaning for Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson and forward Bobby Ryan  this year. Anderson's wife, Nicholle, also mother to their two sons, Jake and Levi, has been treated for cancer since being diagnosed in October. It was Ryan's first Mother's Day without his mom, Melody Stevenson, who died of liver cancer in July. It's also the first Mother's Day for Ryan's wife, Danielle, mother to their daughter, Riley. NHL.com Staff Writer Amalie Benjamin wrote about the significance of the day for the Senators goalie and the Game 1 overtime hero.

 

11:30 a.m. 
Ducks try to even Western Conference Final 

The Anaheim Ducks will host the Nashville Predators in Game 2 at Honda Center (7:30 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports) after a 3-2 overtime loss in the opener of the Western Conference Final. 

NHL.com correspondent Dan Arritt notes in his 5 Keys to Game 2 that the Ducks have to find an answer for their ice-cold power play, which is on an 0-for-21 slide and went 0-for-4 in Game 1. The Ducks also have to slow down the speedy Predators, and one way to do that is to be more physical. NHL.com staff writer Lisa Dillman writes about Anaheim defenseman Josh Manson , who tied for the Ducks lead in Game 1 with five hits. "You'd have to classify him as our most physical defenseman," coach Randy Carlyle said. 

The Predators won Game 1 despite having to kill off four penalties, including one late in the third period. NHL.com staff writer Tim Campbell reports that the Predators are focused on remaining disciplined. They also want to improve on a power play that went 0-for-5, including 1:27 of 5-on-3 time that generated little. 

Longtime NHL assistant Perry Pearn, who's providing additional insight for NHL.com during this series, also says the Predators have to do more with their power play in Game 2. Former St. Louis Blues coach Davis Payne notes that the Ducks' power play hasn't scored since Game 2 of the second round against the Edmonton Oilers and that the creativity of defenseman Cam Fowler could be vital.

Video: Anaheim is electric as the Ducks march toward the Cup

 

9:45 a.m.
Can the Ottawa Senators still be considered underdogs?

The Senators' run through the Stanley Cup Playoffs continued Saturday with an overtime win against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Ottawa, which wasn't given much of a chance to defeat the New York Rangers in the second round, won its third straight game and second straight on the road when Bobby Ryan scored 4:59 into OT.

It was the 44th of this year's 70 postseason games to be decided by one goal and the 25th to go to overtime. The NHL record for overtime games in one postseason is 28, set in 1993.

Video: Bobby Ryan scores OT winner for Senators

 

Here's a look at what happened Saturday:

Ottawa Senators 2, Pittsburgh Penguins 1 (OT)

Ryan scored his fifth goal of the playoffs and Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored his eighth to help the Senators win Game 1 at PPG Paints Arena. Craig Anderson made 27 saves to give Ottawa its first win in the Eastern Conference Final since May 19, 2007. Evgeni Malkin scored the only goal for the Penguins, who got 33 saves from Marc-Andre Fleury. Game 2 is Monday in Pittsburgh (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports). 

NHL.com staff writer Amalie Benjamin writes that the playoffs have given Ryan a shot at redemption for a subpar regular season. 

NHL.com senior writer Dan Rosen looks at the Penguins, who viewed Game 1 as a learning experience

Video: Ryan's OT goal lifts Sens to Game 1 victory vs. Pens

 

Here are some things we learned on Day 31 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Ottawa continues to shine in OT

Overtime? No problem. The Senators have yet to panic in an overtime situation, going 6-1 in OT games during the playoffs; the only loss was to the Boston Bruins in double overtime of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference first round. "I don't think our attitude changes," coach Guy Boucher said. "It doesn't change before the game, between periods, whether we score a goal or get scored. I think that's what we've acquired over time is to stay calm regardless of what's happening in the score." Stay calm and win. That's exactly what the Senators have been able to do.

Senators right to not call themselves underdogs

The Senators weren't willing to cast themselves as underdogs in the Eastern Conference Final against the Penguins after doing just that in their second-round series against the Rangers. And, perhaps, rightly so. The Senators played their game, played to their strengths against the Penguins on Saturday and found a way to win in overtime, as they have so often in the playoffs. They lead the best-of-7 series 1-0, having taken a game on the road. Underdogs? Nope.

Penguins need to shoot more

The Penguins did not think the neutral zone, an area of great concern for them coming into the series, was a big issue. They thought they got through it cleanly on a lot of occasions and felt they were able to generate sustained possession time in the offensive zone. The problem is they didn't generate much off of that possession time. They were outshot 32-17 at even strength. The key for them in Game 2 will be to put more pucks to the net to test goalie Craig Anderson and Ottawa's net-front defense.

Pittsburgh's power play becoming an issue

The Penguins' power play was clicking at 25 percent through Game 5 of the second round against the Washington Capitals. It has gone 0-for-10 since, including 0-for-5 in Game 1 against Ottawa. The Penguins had four power plays within the first 20:49 of the game, including a 5-on-3 for 45 seconds, but couldn't do anything with them. They were stagnant and shooting from the outside. Pittsburgh had 10 shots on goal and 15 shot attempts with the extra man, but few of those were from the danger areas.

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