OTTAWA 2 PITTSBURGH 1 OT (Senators lead 1-0)
It really looked like the Senators would be able to ride Jean-Gabriel Pageau's 8th (!!!) goal of the playoffs to victory, until a crafty tip by Evgeni Malkin tied it late in the 3rd. Everyone hunkered down for a long OT, but Bobby Ryan's backhand mastery put this one to bed early.
A couple interesting things there. First, who knew Ryan had those kind of wheels? Wow, he blows past Paul Martin like he was standing still. Also, it was kind of odd to see Crosby casually skating back. Not much of a backcheck there, bud. Ryan;s second OT winner of the playoffs was their 6th OT win of the post season, but they have a ways to go to match the 10 that the 1993 Montreal Canadiens notched en route to the Stanley Cup.
The Nashville Predators know they can't keep taking penalties the way they have if they want to win this series, and that's no easy feat against a team like the Anaheim Ducks. There likely isn't a better team out there at suckering you into taking retaliation penalties thanks to some of the most irritating players in the league all under one roof. So the focus will be on the Preds staying composed, and not letting Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Ryan Kesler and others goad them into taking penalties.
Another thing they will need to do is what worked for them in Game 1: the volume of pucks shot at John Gibson. The Preds out-attempted the Ducks 77-61, and they need to keep firing at Gibson every chance they get. The Ducks would be wise to do the same, as they didn't test Pekka Rinne nearly enough in Game 1.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
Going waaaaay back today to one of the best of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal: Diamond Head. This is a song most know because of Metallica's cover version, but the original does just fine thank you very much. So why them today? It was announced this weekend they will be hitting Victoria and Vancouver at the end of August, and if you're into old school, this is a show you cannot miss. I am going to pick up my ticket today in fact. Hope to see you there if you're on the island!