Phil Kessel's goal evens Eastern Conference Final at 1-1
- After 53 minutes of scoreless hockey, the Penguins finally broke free in Game 2 to even the Eastern Conference Final.
A goal from Phil Kessel in the third period Monday night gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 1-0 win against the visiting Ottawa Senators. The win evens the Eastern Conference Final at 1-1.
Kessel's goal came with 6:55 left in the game. Evgeni Malkin fed Kessel, who skated into the high slot with the puck. From there, Kessel's first shot got blocked. He was able to corral the loose puck, though, and rifle a wrist shot past Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson.
The goal was Kessel's sixth this postseason. It was his first point since Game 5 of Pittsburgh's second-round series against the Washington Capitals. The primary assist on Kessel's goal gave Malkin his 20th point this postseason. Malkin's 20 points are the most by a single player during the 2017 playoffs.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 23 shots, including a short-handed chance. The shutout was the 10th of his playoff career. With it, he moves into a three-way tie with Ken Dryden and Henrik Lundqvist for 11th place all-time. Anderson made 28 saves in the loss.
Ottawa hosts Pittsburgh in Game 3 Wednesday.
Good news, bad news on the power play
Depending on which team fans cheered for, Monday night provided good news regarding penalties. It also offered bad news.
The good news? Ottawa only had to kill one penalty. That's a significant improvement from Saturday, when the Senators were on the hook for five penalty kills.
The bad news? The Penguins couldn't capitalize on their lone power play opportunity Monday. They couldn't score on any of their power plays Saturday, either. In other words, Pittsburgh's 0-6 so far this series.
Penguins control final two periods
Stats can be deceiving. Pittsburgh finished with 29 shots on goal, just six more than Ottawa; however, all seven of the Senators' third-period shots on goal came in the game's final five minutes. Add that to Ottawa getting out shot in the second period, 12-6, and it's clear to see an area in the Senators' game that needs fixing for Game 3.
Pittsburgh loses two players
Two Penguins left the game Monday night due to what presumably are injuries. Both Bryan Rust and Justin Schultz left in the first period. Rust got taken down by a hit from Ottawa's Dion Phaneuf in the Penguins' offensive zone. Schultz took a hit from Mike Hoffman of the Senators and went into the boards awkwardly.