PITTSBURGH -- An angry Phil Kessel ended up being a very good thing for the Pittsburgh Penguins. On a couple of occasions during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday, he was shown on the bench, yelling in frustration. Sometimes to himself. Sometimes in the direction of teammates. He was most certainly engaged.
The Penguins beat the Senators 1-0 Monday to even up this series at one game each.
How they did it: The Penguins used their speed much more effectively in generating consistent offensive pressure, even if it took until late in the third period to finally capitalize. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan wanted to see more shooting, and his team responded with a 29-23 edge in shots. The Penguins have struggled with possession this postseason, but around the time Kessel finally broke the scoreless tie, the Penguins were controlling 64 percent of the even-strength shot attempts, according to NaturalStatTrick.com.
It was an impressive showing, especially considering the players the Penguins were missing due to injuries.
More Penguins injured: The Penguins' defense took another serious blow when their best remaining offensive defenseman, Justin Schultz, crashed into the boards in the first period and left the ice, heading directly down the tunnel. He didn't return. If he's out any length of time, it's a major loss for a defense that is already having trouble getting the puck out if its own zone without Kris Letang and Trevor Daley. Daley skated on his own again Monday morning before the team's game-day practice.
Phaneuf a physical force: This was classic Phaneuf. He was a one-man wrecking crew for a large portion of Game 2, starting with his open-ice hit on Rust in the first period. But Phaneuf didn't stop there in a contest that was more physical than Game 1.
He and Sidney Crosby got into a shoving match, with a heated exchange of words, and during one shift in the second period, Phaneuf leveled all three Penguins forwards who were on the ice -- Crosby, Jake Guentzel and Conor Sheary. Phaneuf concluded the second period by clipping Scott Wilson.
His physical play is a factor, especially considering how banged up and thin the Penguins already are.
Up next: The series shifts to Ottawa for two games, starting with Game 3 at 8 p.m. on Wednesday.