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Senators? duo stymies Sidney in opener

by Adam Kimelman / NHL.com
PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby had a career-high and League-leading 51 goals this season, and his 109 points were second in the League and the second-highest total of his career.

It's no surprise, then, that the Ottawa Senators made slowing the Penguins' captain a large part of their strategy going into the start of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series.
 
The shock was that they were able to accomplish their goal. Every team goes into games against the Penguins looking to slow down Crosby -- but the stats show how tough a task that is.
 
Led by defensemen Anton Volchenkov and Chris Phillips, the Senators held Crosby without a shot until 6:17 was left in the game. Crosby had 3 assists, but only one came at even-strength.
 
"That was the plan, to shut Crosby down," Volchenkov told NHL.com. "Every time Crosby jumped on the ice, it was a quick change and me and Philly (Phillips) jumped on."
 
Phillips logged a game-high 24:14 of ice time, while Volchenkov played 21:02. Neither of them blocked a Crosby shot, but the pair was as close to him as the Penguin on his chest for most of the game.
 
"We played him hard, and played in the lanes too. And played physical," Volchenkov said. "Sidney's a pretty strong boy, has very good skill. I need to be very focused every time I go on the ice."
 
Coach Cory Clouston said it wasn't just his top pair that did the job on Crosby.
 
"We're not going to say it's one or two guys," he said. "We're trying to do it by committee, we're trying to do it as a team. We're trying to get into shooting lanes, we're trying to blocks shots, trying to make sure we have numbers at the blue line. Did we do that all night? No, I thought there were a couple breakdowns, but otherwise I thought we did a pretty good job of that and we'll have to get better next game."
 
Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com
 
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