RECAP: GAME ONE. Tough Guys. PENS WIN.

The best part of this game was when the Ottawa Senators emerged from the visitors' dressing room and the Islanders didn't. The Penguins immediately found themselves with time to make plays and make moves. Did you notice something else in Game One? The furious rushes up ice that were the Islanders' M.O. were gone. That drop in team speed between the Isles and Sens will make a world of difference in this series.
 
If the Isles series did a number in the Pens' heads, they would have lost this game. Instead they came out all business.
 
Vokoun saw 36 shots and saved 35. Money. The Pens had one shorthanded goal all season, and they now have one in the postseason. Suprise: Pascal Dupuis has scored both of them.
 
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Evgeni Malkin put up two more points and recorded the game-winning goal. He was in so many places last night, he was even on Jeopardy:
 
"I'll take misunderstood, enigmatic Russian Conn Smythe winners and MVPs for $1400, Alex."
 
The best part: the joke who buzzed in answered "Sidney Crosby."
 
If there's one thing we've all learned, it's that the first game of a series doesn't tell the tale. Game Two on Friday night is gonna be a good indication of where this series is headed. It could be another tough win, it could be a blowout, Vokoun could collapse.
 
Recap:
 

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FIRST PERIOD

Best. Opening. Ever. On NBC:

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Crosby and Company came out flying. The bad side about playing the Senators? Evgeni Nabokov isn't around anymore. Craig Anderson made a bunch of huge saves early and often, reminding everyone what an opposing goalie looks like.

About a minute in, Kyle Turris realized he wasn't playing against some shit Habs players and pissed himself, taking a penalty on Dupuis. Late on the power play, Malkin chased down a puck and got it to Martin at the point.

Paul Martin scores again. Deflected off of Jared Cowen. 1-0.
 
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The good start was short-lived, though. The Senators responded two minutes later with a playoff goal. The puck got behind Vokoun and died on the goalline. Colin Greening got credit for the goal.
 
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1-1.
 
It could be deemed a soft goal, so early panic set in. Too bad Vokoun shut the door the rest of the way.
 
There was a feeling-out period of the game there for a while.
 
Then Neal-Malkin-Kunitz went to work. Neal forechecked hard and got a puck to Kunitz. Malkin beat Jared Cowen one-on-one in front and scored the easiest goal of his life.
 
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2-1.
 
The Pens killed a Tyler Kennedy penalty, then Kennedy drew one late in the period, which was washed out by a Malkin penalty.
 
Thankfully for Jared Cowen, the period ended.
 
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SECOND PERIOD

The Sens dictated most of the second period. Neil jobbed Murray on an icing, and there probably should've been a penalty there. Speaking of jobbing, the CONSOL boards almost jobbed Vokoun, but he avoided disaster.

After a skirmish, Neal was headed to the box, even after Turris tripped up Malkin well after everything. Pens killed that off.

Saw some of it in the first, and more in the second: Anderson being active on the Pens' dump-ins. It's definitely part of the Sens' plan to counter the Pens' long dump-ins and subsequent forechecks and cycles.

Then Orpik did this:

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Then there was some more feeling out.

Conacher held up Kunitz after a face-off, and the sharks started swarming. On the PP, the Pens had the Sens running, leaving Iginla and Kunitz alone in front. Kunitz jammed home a rebound. 3-1.

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Pens were still coming at the end of the period. It was poetry in motion, with some beautiful movement. A puck squeaked through Anderson but didn't have enough ass to get over the goal line before Karlsson got it out of there. That may have gone in on fresh ice.

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Vokoun didn't have to make any 10-bell saves, but he was stopping everything he should've stopped. It's really all the Pens need.

THIRD PERIOD

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Not much going on through the first half of the third. Cory Conacher is a joke and decided to headbutt Letang, so there was some 4-on-4 for a while. Pens were looking for the dagger the whole time.

Dupuis went down behind the Sens' net, and it had high-ankle sprain written all over it. Everyone wondered if he was gonna be okay. The answer would be coming shortly.

Neal went to the box. Veteran sell by Karlsson on that call, but he was gonna have to answer for that. Murray acted like he was gonna clear it along the boards, and Karlsson pinched to cut it off. Instead, Murray sprung Dupes and Cooke on a shorthanded 2-on-1. Patience. Patience. Dupuis roof job.

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4-1.

James Neal kept taking penalties. Pens killed all of them.

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The game was over after that, but of course the Sens had to start trolling. Chris Neil had a moment where he was jawing with Doug Murray, waited for Murray to go to the bench, and then jumped back on the ice to start shit. Neil avoided contact with Murray for most of the game except for when Murray's back was turned.

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And except for this pic.

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Best part of the third was with under 30 seconds left when one of the scorekeepers almost fell:
 
You have to think if the guy falls there, it is the GIF of the year. Maybe even the decade.

GAME.

MISCELLANEOUS

– There's rumors that Karlsson isn't fully recovered from his Achilles injury.

– Saw some chatter about Bylsma sitting Neal due to all his penalties. lol ok

– Special teams made all the difference in this one.

– On the radio side the old 29er mentioned he saw Chris Neil elbow Crosby in the mask. No vid though.

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All double digits. Good times. Still waiting for Brenden Morrow to do something big. Pens would be lethal if they could get Sutter's line going.

 

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