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Cup champion Penguins wary of stingy Senators

Cup champion Penguins wary of stingy Senators

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators chose different ways to spend Sunday, a pretty good indicator of where things stand in the Eastern Conference final.

The Pittsburgh Penguins look to get back in their Eastern Conference final series with the Ottawa Senators as the heavy underdogs stole game one in overtime on Saturday night.

The Senators won two of the three regular season meetings, though their 2-1 shootout victory on March 23 was marred by a slash from Crosby on defenseman Marc Methot left the pinky finger on Methot's left hand mangled, forcing him to miss 10 games. The Senators have limitations, and recognize them.

"It was scary (in New York) ... it was scary. This year I think guys felt that we were the better team, so I think that's probably why it stings a little bit more".

"To be honest with you, we didn't talk about Crosby once".

He hasn't played since Game 2 of the opening round because of a leg injury suffered when he smashed into the boards.

"You saw the way they went through San Jose in the finals", Orpik said. With those two on the ice together, Ottawa held a 7-5 edge in shots and 1-0 advantage in goals. They're all a beat behind the play, not quite ready, not quite alert, not at all intense.

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But Bobby Ryan, who was a big factor in overtime wins against Boston in the first round, came through once again, slapping the puck cross ice and beating a Olli Maata to backhand it by Fleury.

Coach Mike Sullivan, however, refused to let the Penguins stew too much about falling into the traps they knew to avoid. Were not just happy to be here. We're not going to hang our heads if we don't have success.

"The writing was on the wall", said Williams, a three-time Cup-winner and 2014 playoff MVP.

The Ottawa Senators dominated Boston then rallied by the New York Rangers on the legs of seemingly tireless defenseman Erik Karlsson, the inspirational play of goaltender Craig Anderson and a neutral zone trap created to frustrate and suffocate opponents in equal measure.

Although playoff points leader Evgeni Malkin scored, fellow center and Rocket Richard Trophy victor Sidney Crosby was held to two shots.

"We establish a long series of what you can call interpretations based on an 82-game season, but for Ottawa you have the return of Clarke MacArthur, the growth of Craig Anderson, the surprise arrival of Jean-Gabriel Pageau", Corsi said.

"We're excited to get going and start", he said. No, I don't. Do I think we played terribly?

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It's hard to state just how incredible of an individual effort Ryan had on his game-winner, so we'll just show you. That's impossible. Those guys are too good.

How else, in the name of Mario Lemieux and Ron Francis, can the Senators conceivably take four out of seven from the defending Cup champions? They are averaging 3.39 goals per game while allowing 2.77.

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon). Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby stretches out for the puck as a teammate jumps over him during the third period of Game 7 in an NHL hockey Stanley Cup Eastern Conference semifinal against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Wedne.

The flip side, of course, is the Penguins have Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel, and the Senators do not, but former National Hockey League goaltending coach Jim Corsi said Karlsson has the ability to turn Pittsburgh from a team that plays on its toes most of the time, a team that pushes and attacks through the neutral zone, into a team that has no choice but to play on its heels. We just kept coming at them and had a lot of chances.

Malkin mostly dealt with the pair of Dion Phaneuf and Cody Ceci. "It's nothing that we didn't expect".

Smith said those two losses at MSG are in the club's memory banks.

"You just gain a little momentum from the first (overtime victory) in the first round".

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