“If you had one shot or one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment, would you capture it or just let it slip?”
Yes, I did just quote Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” and I regret nothing.
And neither does Phil Kessel, who took that shot that Eminem references in the lyrics above with 6:55 left in the third period, giving the Penguins a 1-0 victory against the Senators and tying the series.
Going into the Game 2, there were a lot of questions to be answered:
- Could the Pens handle Karlsson? (sort of)
- Would both goalies remain as steadfast as Game 1, particularly Anderson? (absolutely)
- Could Pittsburgh find a way to deal with Ottawa’s trap and get around their neutral zone transition defense? (yes)
- Would the Senators be able to stay up on the Penalty Kill? (yes)
- What would I eat for dinner? (pizza + a cookie – ok two cookies)
I know the question you’re all dying to have answered. It was a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie.
After Game 1, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said they need to focus on putting more pucks to the net (enlightening I know, since that is the entire point of the game). The Pens were slow to execute in Game 1 and their patience to find the perfect shot hurt them in the end. They needed less passing and more shots on goal if they were going to stand a chance again the Senators in Game 2.
And that is exactly what they did.
The first period was their toughest battle for a number of reasons. Faceoff wins were tough to come by in the beginning and then they lost right wing Bryan Rust to injury, shortly followed by defenseman Justin Shultz exiting the game with another injury.
But the Pens stayed resilient despite losing a forward and a d-man, not to mention the other players out with injuries (Hornqvist, Daley, and Letang).
The silver lining to Rust’s injury for the Penguins was an adjustment in the first line. Sheary replaced Rust after he left in the first period and the Guentzel-Crosby-Sheary line really made an impact on the game, despite Kessel scoring the winning (and only) goal. The adjusted first line put a lot of shots on net and it was only a matter of time before something got past Craig Anderson, who played nothing short of spectacular.
The goalies Anderson and Fleury have been the key players for both teams. Fleury recorded his second shutout in the last three starts, with 23 saves in Game 2. This is the first time the Senators have been shutout since February 24th vs the Hurricanes. Anderson made 28 saves on Monday but the Penguins ability to outshoot the Senators ultimately lead to the game-winning goal for Pittsburgh.
The Senators controlled Game 1 with their dominance of the neutral zone but the Penguins found a way to get around it for Game 2. Ottawa will have to put the same pressure they put on Pittsburgh defensively in Game 1 if they want to come out on top in this series.
Both teams are headed to Ottawa for Game 3, which will take place Wednesday 8PM ET. Get your pizza and cookies ready.