PITTSBURGH -- In the previous playoff round, the Penguins played an exciting series against the rival Capitals that featured huge goals, star power, physical play and timely saves. It was a seven-game classic.
The Ottawa Senators offered little of that for most of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday against Pittsburgh. But the Senators did something the Capitals never could -- open a lead in the series on the reigning champs, beating the Penguins 2-1 on Bobby Ryan's goal in overtime. No, it wasn't pretty -- the Ryan goal was the rare breakaway -- but the Senators stopped caring about style points long ago. All they do is keep winning.
How they did it: Ryan won it in overtime, the Sens' sixth overtime win in the playoffs. And it was a beautiful pass from Ryan that set up a first-period goal by Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who scored his eighth of the playoffs. After that, the Senators sucked the life right out of the game for most of regulation, controlling 60 percent of the even-strength shot attempts during regulation until Penguins center Evgeni Malkin's deflection on a Chris Kunitz shot tied it late in the third.
A moment of controversy: Midway through the second period, Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made the initial stop on a wraparound attempt from defenseman Fredrik Claesson, covering the puck with his glove. Alex Burrows was quick to pounce on the puck and shove it past Fleury, with replays showing the puck eventually found its way into the goal. The league initiated a review, but the referee had deemed the play dead when Fleury covered the puck. When that happened, it was no longer a reviewable goal and the call on the ice remained, or else this game might not have seen overtime.
What's next: Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals is at 8 p.m. ET Monday in Pittsburgh.