NHL: Nasty start to playoffs for Penguins, Senators

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Senators lead series 1-0. (Best of Seven)

Pittsburgh Penguins 3 6 Ottawa Senators

The young Pittsburgh Penguins were given their first taste of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, Wednesday night. Needless to say, they didn't enjoy it. The Ottawa Senators defeated the Penguins 6-3 to take a one game advantage in the best of seven series. The game went from bad to downright nasty, with 20 penalties between the two clubs throughout the game, keeping the officiating crew busy throughout the game.

The experienced Senators exploded out of the gates, taking an early lead just 1:37 into regulation, when Andrej Meszaros scored the first goal of the series. Chris Kelly would score 5:01 later to double the Sens' lead to two goals. In the second period, Tom Preissing would give Ottawa a 3-0 advantage at 14:38. The Penguins would finally get on the scoresheet 2:20 later, when rookie Jordan Staal scored his first career playoff goal, to make it a two goal game. Dany Heatley scored the Senators' second power play goal of the night, just 0:09 into the final period, beating Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who was under siege for most of the night. Ottawa wouldn't let up, scoring two more goals before Sergei Gonchar found the back of the net. Sidney Crosby would tally his first career playoff goal with :49 left in the game, burying the puck behind Ottawa goaltender Ray Emery.

Crosby appeared to have scored earlier in the third period to narrow the score to two goals, when both Crosby and the puck plowed into the net, but the ruling was overturned, leaving Crosby and the Penguins bench shaking their heads in disgust. In the post game press conference, Crosby said that he would have to see the replay before ruling for himself if he had scored or not.

Fights erupted several times throughout the game, and the penalties mounted for each team as the tension grew. The teams entered the game with a mutual dislike for each other, and no doubt left loathing each other. Perhaps the most exciting outcome of the game is the anticipation for the next game of the series. The Penguins and Senators face each other again, Saturday afternoon, in the best of seven series.

Scoring Summary

Scoring Summary
No. Period Time Team Scorer (No.) Assists Score
1 1st 1:37 OTT Andrej Meszaros (1) Mike Fisher, Peter Schaefer 1-0
2 1st 6:38 OTT Chris Kelly (1) Joe Corvo, Chris Neil) 2-0
3 2nd 14:38 OTT Tom Preissing (1) PP Jason Spezza, Joe Corvo 3-0
4 2nd 16.58 PIT Jordan Staal (1) Maxime Talbot, Ryan Whitney 3-1
5 3rd 0:09 OTT Dany Heatley (1) PP Daniel Alfredson, Anton Volckenkov 4-1
6 3rd 5:39 OTT Chris Neil (1) Wade Redden 5-1
7 3rd 8:22 OTT Mike Comrie (1) Peter Schaefer, Anton Volchenkov 6-1
8 3rd 12:42 PIT Sergei Gonchar (1) PP Evgeni Malkin, Mark Recchi 6-2
9 3rd 19:11 PIT Sidney Crosby (1) PP Sergei Gonchar, Mark Recchi 6-3


Team Player Shots Saves Save Pct.
PIT Marc-Andre Fleury 36 30 .833
PIT Jocelyn Thibault 1 1 1
OTT Ray Emery 26 23 .885

Three Stars of the Game

#1 = Daniel Alfredsson, RW, Ottawa Senators - 1 Assist

#2 = Chris Neil, RW, Ottawa Senators - 1 Goal, 1 Assist

#3 = Anton Volchenkov, D, Ottawa Senators - 2 Assists