But, to their credit, they just kept hammering away as the Senators seemed content to “turtle” in their own zone, failing to register a shot on goal through about a period’s worth of game time. Kessel finally beat a game Craig Anderson on an extra-effort attempt, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win as the Penguins tied the series 1-1.
The Senators might have been accused of a “rope-a-dope” technique when it came to trying to counterattack, but they weren’t just leaning on the ropes when it came to the actual physical stuff. Dion Phaneuf delivered some huge hits, including one that possibly injured Bryan Rust, while Justin Schultz may also be hurt thanks to an innocuous Mike Hoffman check.
Marc-Andre Fleury grabbed his 10th career playoff shutout, making 23 saves in uneven waves from the Senators. It will be interesting to see if Guy Boucher deploys a similar strategy against Pittsburgh as the Eastern Conference Final goes along or if he’ll try to take advantage of the growing number of injuries for the Pens’ defense corps.
The narratives could have revolved around the Senators frustrating the Penguins and getting away with a … questionable style of play. They certainly did frustrate the Pens and almost escaped with a 2-0 series lead.
Pittsburgh got that key win, however, so the series will shift tied 1-1 as Games 3 and 4 will take place in Ottawa.
Game 3 takes place on NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday. You can watch online and via the NBC Sports App. (Stream online here)