Penguins jump on Senators in series opener, 4-1

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“It’s not just 5-on-5, it’s not just scoring goals,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. “He’s an outstanding penalty killer and he did that again tonight. He scored the goal on the PK, but his work on the PK was just as impressive.” Evgeni Malkin extended his points streak to seven games with a goal and an assist for Pittsburgh, while Vokoun stopped 35 shots for his third straight victory since taking over for struggling Marc-Andre Fleury. “We did a job on them, but they did have some pretty good scoring chances and flurries on (Vokoun) and I thought he was real strong as the game went on, real solid,” Bylsma said of Vokoun. “One goal against is pretty good.” Colin Greening scored for the Senators. Anderson made 26 saves, but Ottawa had no answer for Pittsburgh’s power play. Pittsburgh didn’t need to wait long to get a chance to put the power play to work. Ottawa’s Kyle Turris drew a high-sticking penalty before the game was 90 seconds old, and barely a minute later, Pittsburgh jumped in front. Malkin worked his way into the corner then threaded a pass between two Ottawa defenders to Martin at the point. Martin’s slap shot from the point deflected off Ottawa defenseman Jared Cowen and scooted past Anderson just 2:41 into the game to give the Penguins an early lead. source: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2013/hockey/nhl/wires/05/15/2000.ap.hkn.senators.penguins.folo.1136/index.html

2013 NHL Playoffs: Ottawa Senators Have Chance at Another Upset

There is a lot to like about this Ottawa team, and it could involve them giving Pittsburgh all that they can handle in this round of play. There is also the chance that the Senators get Jason Spezza back. There have been reports that Spezza is close to returning and practiced for the first time since his surgery this past weekend. He would give the Senators a definite boost and may be able to add some more offense. I know that the Senators scored six goals in two games during their first-round smack down of the Montreal Canadiens , and they could do it again here with a weak goaltender situation concerning the Penguins. I think that while those numbers are solid, a return by Spezza could add even more. I know that I wouldn’t want to be the team who has to play the Senators right now. The offense is clicking, and when you can throw a goalie like Craig Anderson in net, goals will be tough to come by for the opposition. I’m not sure that the Senators can pull the upset in this series, but I know that it won’t be over quickly. It’s likely going to go at least six games, and it may come down to a deciding seventh game. The key is whether or not Anderson continues being the shutdown goalie he has been all season long. source: http://www.rantsports.com/nhl/2013/05/14/2013-nhl-playoffs-ottawa-senators-have-chance-at-another-upset/

Eastern Conference Preview: (1) Pittsburgh vs. (7) Ottawa

Evgeni Malkin and the Pittsburgh Penguins have a lot of playoff history against the Ottawa Senators. (USATSI)

2 in the NHL in goals against all the way down to 17th. They still have a Norris Trophy winner in Erik Karlsson on their blue line, and while he’s clearly not 100 percent after returning from a lacerated Achilles he’s still a difference-maker when he’s on the ice. But when it comes to their defense, that’s pretty much it. Even with an impact player like Karlsson the Penguins should still have an advantage in this matchup. That’s probably not entirely fair to Ottawa’s defense, because Pittsburgh’s group of forwards would have an advantage against just about any defense in the league. Ottawa forwards vs. Pittsburgh defense Pittsburgh’s defensive effort in Round 1 against the New York Islanders was not a good one by any stretch of the imagination. It was made worse by some poor goaltending early in the series, but the Penguins have to be better defensively if they’re going to continue moving through the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Senators don’t have the same sort of speed up front that the Islanders did, and they don’t really have a lot of great finishers when it comes to scoring goals (they were 28th in the NHL this year in goals scored) but no team in the NHL generated more shots on goal than Ottawa. Going up against a Pittsburgh defense that’s been bleeding shots against as the season has progressed that could present an interesting challenge for whichever goalie the Penguins decide to put in net. A lot of shots against is nothing new for the Penguins lately as their shot totals have been trending in opposite directions for more than a month now. The table below shows the Penguins cumulative shot attempts for and against for the 2013 season, and as you can see those are two numbers going in the wrong direction. source: http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/blog/eye-on-hockey/22230472/eastern-conference-preview-1-pittsburgh-vs-7-ottawa

NHL playoffs: Best of Tuesday

We’ll see about that come Wednesday if Torres has a meeting with Brendan Shanahan.   KINGS OF TWITTER The LA Kings’ stellar Twitter account has struck again. With the Kings heading into the third period of Game 1 against the San Jose Sharks with a 2-0 lead at Staples Center, this is what the Kings’ tweeps came up with:   — LA Kings (@LAKings) May 15, 2013 And in case you were really wondering, here’s what the Kings star looks like without his jersey on: KINGS’ GOOD LUCK CHARM? Pia Toscano. Remember that name. Don’t know her? Well, she’s the Kings’ national anthem singer who became the pretty face and the voice of the LA’s 2012 Cup run. The Boston Bruins may have Rene Rancourt and the Philadelphia Flyers had Kate Smith, but only in LA would a hottie singer-artist become the traditional voice of a pro hockey team’s national anthem. Check out her performance on Tuesday:   THIS IS MANTASTIC! Some fans are willing to go the extra mile. source: http://msn.foxsports.com/nhl/story/stanley-cup-playoffs-best-of-tuesday-second-round-051413

Penguins handle Senators in opener

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EDT May 14, 2013 Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist in Game 1. (Photo: Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports) Story Highlights Pittsburgh’s Paul Martin and Chris Kunitz score power play goals Pascal Dupuis scores short-handed goal Game 2 is Friday in Pittsburgh PITTSBURGH – During the regular season, the Pittsburgh Penguins were monstrous on the power play and feeble on the penalty kill. Now in the postseason, they are thriving in both areas. Paul Martin and Chris Kunitz scored the Penguins’ eighth and ninth power-play goals of the playoffs and Pascal Dupuis had a short-handed goal to spark Pittsburgh to a 4-1 win against the Ottawa Senators in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal. “The difference in the game is obviously the execution on their power play and the fact we gave up a short-handed goal,” Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said. In the postseason, the Penguins have converted nine of 25 chances with the man advantage for a league-leading 36% power-play efficiency. “Obviously you can’t give them any opportunities,” MacLean said. “Our penalty killing has to be better.” MORE: Gryba leaves the game The Penguins thwarted all six of the Senators’ power-play opportunities, and that performance might be more remarkable. In the regular season, the Penguins ranked 25th out of 30 teams. In the postseason, the Penguins have killed 23 of 25 power-play chances for a 92% kill percentage. source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/2013/05/14/pittsburgh-penguins-beat-ottawa-senators/2159991/

 

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