The Penguins get some good looks down the stretch but it's the Senators who skate away with a 5-4 victory. Game 2 is slated for Friday night at Mellon Arena. The Penguins will be looking to even up the series before it shifts to Ottawa on Sunday.
Fleury is out of his crease and the crowd is on their feet!
We aren't dead yet! Crosby centers a pass from behind the Ottawa net to Goligoski, who blasts a shot over Elliott to get the Penguins within one. Malkin also picks up an assist. Senators 5, Penguins 4.
That chance goes by the wayside as Regin returns.
Dupuis draws a tripping call against Regin to give the Penguins a shot to get back into the game.
Good job by Fleury of staying tight against the post to deny a drive to the cage by Zach Smith.
Former Penguin Ruutu once again puts the Senators up by a pair as he takes a cross-ice pass from Neil and beats Fleury to the shot side with a wrist shot from the left circle. Senators 5, Penguins 3.
We have the first "Elliott ... Elliott ... Elliott" cheer. Gosh I love the postseason!
Tonight's Shearer's Crunches of the Game:
Back-to-back great plays by Goligoski as he lies flat on his stomach to prevent not one but two centering pass from Nick Foligno.
It's like a whole new building following the Adams goal. This place is rocking.
14:44: Craig Adams
saves his best for when it counts the most!!! Adams scores his first goal of the season by lifting a backhander past the glove of Elliott as he skated down the left wing. The crowd is on their feet now! Senators 4, Penguins 3.
Cooke and Spezza return as we are back to full strength.
The whistle sounds less than a minute into the third period as Cooke draws Spezza into the box with him. Both receive roughing calls. We will play a little four-on-four action.
Alright whiteout crowd and folks outside at the outdoor screen - WE NEED YOU NOW!!!
SECOND PERIOD NOTES:
- Chris Kunitz
led the Penguins with four hits.
- Kris Letang
has blocked three shots.
- Jordan Staal
is 6-5 on faceoffs.
The penalty and the remainder of the period end without the Penguins finding the back of the cage. It's Ottawa holding a 4-2 lead after two periods. The Senators also hold a 19-12 shots advantage.
Here's the break the Penguins needed. A too many men on the ice call against Ottawa. You have to make the Senators pay.
The Staal, Cooke and Kennedy line continues to generate scoring chances for the Penguins. Look for them to lead the way as the Penguins try to come back from this two-goal deficit.
Ottawa is back ahead by two after they score a second time on the man-advantage. Karlsson collected a Fisher reboound, turned the puck from backhand to forehand and beat a flailing Fleury. Senators 4, Penguins 2.
I feel like Staal is going to get a shorthanded tally here. His stick has been unbelievable and he is thisclose (pun intended) to earning himself a breakaway.
The crowd is all revved up now and they are going to have to stay that way because Kunitz just took a charging call, much to the dismay of the crowd.
The Penguins are flying now. Elliott totally just robbed Cooke in the slot. Kennedy, who has been among the Penguins' best forwards, set him up.
"Geno! Geno!" That's the chant after Malkin takes a pass along the far boards from Gonchar, walks to the top of the circle and buries his second goal of the game. Gonchar made a great play to hold in a missed shot by Crosby to keep the play alive. Senators 3, Penguins 2.
Pittsburgh is back on the power play with Regin in the box for holding.
We just had the save of the night by Elliott, who crunched down into the butterfly to deny a point-blank chance by Ponikarovsky. Great setup by Ruslan Fedotenko. Talbot made the play by making the hit.
Head coach Dan Bylsma has reuninted Crosby and Malkin in an effort to generate more offense. They are joined on a line by Guerin.
A cheer from the crowd as Pittsburgh does successfully kill off the Letang penalty.
So far so good as the Penguins have had the better of the scoring chances on this Ottawa power play. Elliot just had to make a good stick save on Craig Adams
' shot from the top of the right circle. It's a matter of time for the Penguins to break out.
Hopefully the Penguins can kill off this Letang minor and use the momentum to begin denting into the Senators' lead.
Pittsburgh will have to kill for the second time in this game as Letang goes off for slashing.
The Penguins are starting to generate some zone time as they "get to their game" as Bylsma would say.
The Penguins get something going as Talbot wins an icing call and allows the Penguins to get to their cycling game. Talbot has been arguably the Penguins' best player.
Ottawa takes advantage of a bad bounce off the boards to take a two-goal lead. Chris Kelly picks up the loose puck in the slot and throws it into the empty cage for the power-play goal. Senators 3, Penguins 1.
The Penguins begin the period attempting to kill off 1:32 remaining in Ponikarovsky's penalty.
FIRST PERIOD NOTES:
- Evgeni Malkin
had two of the Penguins' four shots.
- Pittsburgh outhit the Senators, 17-14.
- Sidney Crosby
went 6-4 on faceoffs in the opening period to lead Pittsburgh.
And the first 20 minutes of this Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series is in the books. The Senators hold a 2-1 lead on the scoreboard and an 11-4 advantage in shots.
Just when the Penguins might have had something going in the offensive the referees nail Alexei Ponikarovsky for slashing after breaking the stick of one of the Senators.
Staal ignites the crowd a bit as he steps up to drill Volchenkov to the ice at the Senators blue line.
A faceoff win by Chris Kelly leads to an Ottawa score. Anton Volchenkov's shot went off the left shoulder of Fleury and came right to Chris Neil in the slot. Neil beat Fleury over the glove. Senators 2, Penguins 1.
We officially have some playoff hockey as a group of Penguins and Senators engage in a series of face washes in Fleury's crease. That's a first for this series - it won't be a last. Ahh the playoffs.
Both teams seem to be back to feeling each other out as this game is once again drawn even at 1-1. We've had a couple icing calls in a row. Ottawa currently holds a 5-3 shots advantage.
Ottawa has better success killing off that penalty as the Penguins fall to 1-for-2.
Talbot draws his second penalty of the period as Mike Fisher (Carrie Underwood's fiance) takes an interference penalty.
Peter Regin slams home the rebound of a Jason Spezza shot after he beat a Penguin to the front of the cage. Daniel Alfredsson had the second assist. Penguins 1, Senators 1.
Crosby just received a well-deserved ovation from the crowd after a video commemorating his 50th goal was displayed on the Jumbotron. What a season for the Penguins captain.
Kunitz is back to doing what he does best. He just drilled Chris Campoli to the ice in the near corner of the Ottawa zone. The hit was pure Kunitz.
After the whistle Malkin mixes it up with former Penguin Jarkko Ruutu. Neither player is penalized. The Penguins cannot fall for Ruutu's antics here in this series.
That didn't take long. On the Penguins' first power play Evgeni Malkin
fires a one-timer from the top of the right circle past Elliott. Sidney Crosby
, who won the faceoff which led to Sergei Gonchar setting up Malkin, was providing the screen in front. Penguins 1, Senators 0.
The Penguins fourth line comes through as Maxime Talbot draws a hooking penalty.
18:03: Chris Kunitz
is on the ice for the Penguins alongside Sidney Crosby
and Bill Guerin. Kunitz had missed four straight games due to an undisclosed injury.
The crowd might be already affecting the rookie netminder. Elliott had trouble stopping a long-range slap shot by Tyler Kennedy
. Rookie Erik Karlsson made a great play to tie Jordan Staal
's stick up on the rebound or it would already be 1-0 Pittsburgh.
I can report as we have our first faceoff of the evening that you cannot even hear yourself think in here tonight it is so loud. Good job by the fans.
20:00: Marc-Andre Fleury
makes his 50th career postseason start against the Senators Brian Elliott - making his first. Advantage - Penguins.
STAT OF THE NIGHT:
The Penguins penalty killers have killed off 16 of 17 penalties this season aganist the Senators.
Let by a raucous ovation by the crowd (and chills down my spine) ... Your defending STANLEY CUP CHAMPION PITTSBURGH PENGUINS!!!!!! The towels are waving and "Let's Go Pens!" is reigning down.
Among the bigger-name scratches for the Senators are right winger Alex Kovalev, who is out for the postseason with an ACL tear, Shean Donovan and Filip Kuba (back surgery).
The whiteout crowd here at Mellon Arena is on their feet cheering as they watch highlights from last season's championship run. There's no doubt the fans have brought their A-game tonight. Hopefully the Penguins will as well!
: We have good news on the injury front. All three injured Penguins from this weekend's contests - Brooks Orpik
, Chris Kunitz
and Matt Cooke
- will be suited up tonight against the Senators. Mike Rupp, Jay McKee and Eric Godard are the Pittsburgh scratches.Author: Jason Seidling