The Ottawa Senators began the game with such a burst I couldn’t help but ask: “Are the Penguins receiving a visit from The Ghost of Keith Primeau?”*
Ottawa Senators 1, Pittsburgh Penguins 0
Penguins lead series 3-2
For newer hockey fans (or those with hazy memories), then-Flyers forward Primeau scored an overtime game winning goal against the Penguins in one of the longest playoff games ever. That goal changed the series completely, taking a Penguins lead and turning it on its head.
Am I saying that Ottawa winning that game directly parallels the Primeau-fueled Flyers turnaround? Not necessarily. After all, the Pittsburgh Penguins still have a 3-2 series lead. Besides, a one-goal lead isn’t exactly insurmountable. I’ve been pretty hard on Marc-Andre Fleury lately but he had a great first period. The only goal Fleury allowed was on a Matt Cullen breakaway. The former No.1 draft pick saved 10 out of 11 shots while Pascal Leclaire went 10-for-10.
There might be some controversy regarding a near-goal that needed to go to a replay. It seemed like the Twitter consensus was that it was actually a goal – some went as far as to joke that Leclaire’s black pads helped obscure the puck – but it stayed 1-0. Then again, there has been a lot of hand wringing over officiating in this series, so perhaps it’s just twisted justice?
It’s obvious that the Senators aren’t going to roll over and die while the Penguins seem like they have their game back together. Expect updates as this game goes along.
* – Note, I’m aware Primeau is alive.