Penguins – Senators is getting nasty, and Phaneuf’s been a big part of it

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Through two periods of Game 2, Dion Phaneuf has been credited with four hits against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Whatever the number might be, the Ottawa Senators defenseman is making his presence felt.

Of course, there’s also plenty of debate regarding whether his hits have been clean or not. You’ll see plenty of discussion about Phaneuf “leaving his feet” or “headhunting,” depending upon whom you ask.

You can see his biggest hit of the night (so far?) on Bryan Rust above, which seemed to hurt Rust. There have been complaints about other checks, including one on Jake Guentzel.

But there’s no real doubt that he’s making his presence felt to the extent that it feels like a flashback to his high-impact early days with the Calgary Flames … and the Penguins would be wise to keep their heads up.

They’ve certainly revealed their nasty side at times, with Phil Kessel seen livid on the Penguins bench and plenty of Pittsburgh players throwing hits. In fact, the Penguins are credited with more checks (34-23) so far. Scott Wilson‘s really been involved, throwing seven.

The Penguins aren’t being wallflowers here, but the Senators will gladly trade hits and barbs with Pittsburgh instead of trading scoring chances.

The game enters the third period 0-0, so a lot of drama could still be on the way.

You can watch Game 2 on NBCSN, online and via the NBC Sports App. (Stream online here)