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Senators frustrate Penguins with overtime win to take series lead

Bobby Ryan beat Marc-Andre Fleury in overtime to give the Senators a 2-1 win in Game 1 against the Penguins in the Eastern Conference Final.

A work of art, that was not.

But the Ottawa Senators and coach Guy Boucher probably won’t really care about your judgments. The Stanley Cup playoffs remain all about winning and that’s what the Sens did Saturday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final versus the favored Pittsburgh Penguins.

After giving up a late tying goal to Evgeni Malkin, the Senators regrouped in overtime, winning by a final score of 2-1 on a goal from Bobby Ryan, who beat Marc-Andre Fleury with a move to the backhand.

They frustrated the Penguins at just about every turn, neutralizing a speedy Pittsburgh team, keeping its power play at bay, disrupting passes, blocking shots and ultimately quieting the crowd throughout long portions of this game.

In fact, the Penguins power play went 0-for-5 and that includes an unsuccessful five-on-three opportunity early in the first period. Pittsburgh couldn’t capitalize and a few minutes later, the Senators opened the scoring.

Erik Karlsson was prominent throughout the entire game. But Ryan had the winner and he had a helper on Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s opening goal of the game.

Craig Anderson backed the entire effort with an impressive 27 saves. Arguably his best of the night was a reactionary glove stop on Patric Hornqvist on a deflection in the second period.

There were a few possible injury concerns in the third period for Ottawa.

Mark Stone went to the dressing room in the third period, but he did return. Ryan was hit hard into the boards and was slow to make his way off the ice to the bench, and Cody Ceci was reportedly seen limping down the tunnel to the dressing room. He, too, stayed in the game.