Bobby Ryan lifts Senators past Penguins in OT in Game 1

Ovechkin played through hamstring, knee injuries in playoffs

"Ottawa" in the current playoffs managed to win 5 out of 6 overtimes. It's a message he repeated before, during and after Game 1.

It's as effective as it is boring, but it's one of the main reasons a team that gave up four more goals than it scored in the regular season (206-210) made it to a place where they can say they are up 1-0 on the defending Cup champions in the Eastern Conference final. They owe nothing to the game of hockey.

The Senators look to sweep the first two games of this series and head back to the Canadian capital with a comfortable 2-0 series lead but they know that after losing the opener on Saturday that the Penguins will come out with a much better effort and play with a little bit of desperation in their game, especially on home ice. They would stand behind their net waiting for a forecheck that simply wasn't coming.

"Us getting the first game, it gives us a little more confidence, but we know it's still a pretty big task ahead".

That said, I agree with Ary as I noticed something similar: the Sens were far less aggressive with their pinching, specifically in the neutral zone. We have a great group of guys. Boucher's shown his mastery of adapting to opponents' strengths, and I think this is what contained Pittsburgh's offence.

Pittsburgh possesses the better roster, but still has to play the games.

Ryan is, of course, the star of the evening with his overtime game-winner and attractive assist on the Senators' opening goal.

They need to get out of that mindset quickly.

The Penguins got that in Game 1. If Ottawa maintains what we'll call the denial of speed entries, that will ultimately lead to some kind of dump in or lob into the soft areas by the Penguins. "Part of it, I think, is just a heightened awareness and a mindset to put the puck on the net".

Pittsburgh only had 72 hours to recharge following a draining seven-game series against Washington. The Senators didn't allow the Penguins creative forwards, namely Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, time and space.

As for the Senators, they also rarely threatened during the stalled second period. We didn't collapse when they scored. I wish him luck and I'm going to cheer for them.

Reminder: if you're excitedly texting your pals about big Ottawa Senators goals, keep an eye on that sneaky autocorrect function. "The goal being the Stanley Cup, you have to ask questions about your core players and whether they can get you to the promised land".

Is the extra work to less experienced defenders possibly catching up to them?

"We're looking for that next play instead of putting pucks at the net", Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. We don't have to change anything, but we just need to make sure, when we get opportunities to shoot, we shoot it. “We got 35 shots and we outshot them even though they got a lot of power plays.

The winger practiced with the Penguins on Sunday afternoon at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry but made no promises afterward about his availability.

"Once they all commit to one side. the weak side D is wide open", he said.

Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, left, waits to greet Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), from Russian Federation, who is talking with Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) after Game 7 in an NHL hockey Stanley Cup Easter. He saw what the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers responded to them and those teams aren't as good as the one they're facing in the Eastern Conference final. Senators' coach Guy Boucher coaches a defensive style that isn't always conducive to offensive success.