While I wouldn't go so far as to say the Ottawa Senators outplayed the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 -- it's tough to argue that when they lost by three goals -- the club from Canada's capital did a lot right in the series opener.
They controlled the run of the play for long stretches. They matched the Penguins in goal-scoring output. They pushed the Penguins back with their speed, even making Pittsburgh's trio of big-name deadline acquisitions -- Jarome Iginla, Douglas Murray, and Brenden Morrow -- look slow, as all three saw the ice tilt away from them when they were on it.
But that was at even-strength. Special teams, on the other hand, were a nightmare.
Up and down a man, this was Pittsburgh's game. The Penguins scored two powerplay goals and a shorthanded goal, and that was the difference, quite literally, in a 4-1 Senators loss in in Game 1.
"They have the best power play in the playoffs and you try not to give them those opportunities," Cory Conacher told the Sun after the game. "You want to play hard, physical and you just want to be a little bit smarter."
Smarter would be making sure that Pittsburgh's cavalcade of incredible players isn't gifted any extra space. This team can ice a powerplay consisting of five all-stars. The Senators cannot ice a penalty-kill of similar pedigree. So now you're talking about five all-stars versus four normal guys. Sorry, four normal guys, but my money's on the all-stars.Read More »from Senators look to avoid the pitfalls of the penalty box in Game 2 versus Penguins