Thoughts and takeaways from the Penguins' 2-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators...
* Senators goalie Craig Anderson had the bounce-back game of his life on Tuesday. He was absolutely brilliant in net. He made all of the easy saves and all of the hard ones. And the Pens really made him work. They put puck after puck on net, even establishing a new franchise record for shots in a period with 23 in the second, and finishing with 46 total on the night. Credit to Anderson for responding like this after getting pulled in Game 5.
* The one goal he did allow was from Evgeni Malkin, who made the prettiest play we've seen this postseason. It was an incredible individual effort to open the scoring. Malkin won a faceoff in the offensive zone and got tangled up with his opposing center. He broke free and got the puck in the corner. He powered out and put a shot on goal, grabbed his own rebound, went backhand deke and in. Just an unbelievable tally.
* Malkin was hard on himself after the game, saying he needed to use his chances more and that he could have scored 2-3 goals. He added that it was a little bit frustrating because he had so many chances. Mike Sullivan said after the game that Malkin was a "force" and someone who has high expectations of himself. Sullivan said he liked the way Malkin played and that he had a "determined" game. I think we can expect Malkin to take that determination to another level in Game 7.
* The Pens thought they had another goal shortly before that when Trevor Daley crashed the crease, found the puck in a scramble and put it in. The Sens used their coach's challenge, saying that Anderson had been interfered with, and it was ruled no goal.
* Needless to say, Game 6 was much tighter than Game 5, that's for sure. Senators head coach Guy Boucher said before the game his team had given the Pens too much space, that they were through with the 'run-and-gun thing' and that they had to be all over their opponent. And they definitely were, with Sidney Crosby dealing with the worst of it - to the point where he drew a penalty after Marc Methot was draped all over him. Still, the Pens battled through that and still managed to create a lot of zone time and chances.
* Going off that, the Pens had seven goals in Game 5, and honestly, they could have had another seven goals if it weren't for Anderson. That's how much they created this game and that's why the Pens aren't frustrated following this loss. They know if they continue to play like that, they believe they'll get the right result in Game 7. "We played a good game," Crosby said. "That happens sometimes in the playoffs. We've got to regroup here, but we did a lot of good things and probably deserved better tonight."
* The Pens lost the special-teams battle for the first time in this series. After going 3-for-3 on the power play in Game 5, they couldn't convert any of their chances here in Game 6. Then they gave Ottawa a minute and 24 seconds of 5-on-3 time, which the Sens took advantage of to score their first power-play goal of the series - breaking a 0-for-28 dry spell dating back to Game 1 of the Second Round. "Special teams are so important," Crosby told me after. "We always talk about it. Tonight we had some opportunities on the power play and they get a big one late in the second there. Sometimes it's not how well you do, it's more the timing of when you're able to put one in. So I think that's an area we can probably do a little bit better on but it's been pretty good throughout the series."