TribLIVE
Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

« Font size »
Decrease | Reset |Increase

On location: Penguins 4, Senators 1, Game 1

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to faceoff …

Game 1: Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators, Stanley Cup playoffs, second round

Time: 7:38 p.m.

Site: Consol Energy Center

TV, radio: NBC Sports Network, CBC (Canada), RDS (Quebec), WXDX-FM 105.9

Here is the official live box score.

Here is TribLIVE’s Penguins page. Rob Rossi, Josh Yohe and I are covering.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and more, including his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.

301 Comments

  1. go penguins!

  2. Go Pens!!!

    I know nothing about the Sens, but I think this has the making of a pretty good rivalry.

  3. Who is everyone rooting for tonight? Personally, I’m a diehard Pens fan.

  4. Is Eaton in the lineup?

  5. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh……….. the Hippo likes it when the room is empty. Makes it easier for me to fit in here. ;)

    I have seen many “experts” predictions on this series..Sens faster than the Isles. No they are not. Sens have momentum. No they dont. Pens will have tough time against Sens D. No they wont. Enough to make a Hippos head explode.

    Here is one Hippos simple analysis for the upcoming series:

    First, Evgeni “the sieve” Nabokov isnt in goal this series, Anderson is. He was good down the stretch, but Montreal really didnt test him that much. Pens have to bury the puck obviously, and cannot count on Anderson to give up soft goals. His achilles (pun intended) is facing a left-handed shot. James Neal has to have a big series.

    The Sens have some speed, but not like the Isles. And Montreal was so bad, and injured, that they looked faster than they really were. Pens cannot turn the puck over, just like the Islander series, leading to odd-man rushes.

    The Sens have the top-ranked penalty kill. Their D is solid, but they gave up the 2nd most shots in the league this year. Obviously, the Pens have to put the puck on net.

    the series will come down to “smarts”. The Sens will repeatedly run at Cooke, he has to be disciplined and NOT retaliate. The Pens should have a significant edge in PP opportunities, if they dont retaliate.

    I see this series going to the Pens in 6 games. Anderson will steal a game for Ottawa, and Fleury will lose a game for us. (Yes, he will be back in this series). Disco Duck has to make the right adjustments. Team has to play smart. No turnovers. The Islanders gave Ottawa a blueprint to beat the Pens. I think the Pens learned their lessons from the 1st round.

    GO PENS !!!

    • The key ideas are to play with discipline and play with passion. Preach on, Brother Hippo!

    • Agree w/most of your analysis cept for the Flower.

      Yes, he will be back, no matter how well Vokoun plays. I look for him to come back strong, if he gets a little bit of decent D in front of him and does not think he has to start overplaying , he will be fine.

      This team is going to need both of them to win the Cup. I don’t think his psyche is that fragile that he can’t handle sittin a bit. I am sure he would love to start tonight but I am bettin he knows hockey 101 says stick w/the hot hand. I expect him to play Fri or Sun
      no matter what happens.

      Thats my 2 cents. :)

      GO PENS!!

  6. just got home… really wish I didn’t have to watch NBC Sports…

    Not a fan of hearing Engelland looks to be in and Despres out.

    Hope Vokoun continues to play strong in net.

    Let’s Go Pens!

  7. Is Vokouns rec against ott any good? Thought I heard he was not so good v them but was that w FL?

  8. Penguins Lineup

    Dupuis – Crosby – Iginla
    Kunitz – Malkin – Neal
    Cooke – Sutter – Kennedy
    Morrow – Vitale – Adams

    Orpik – Martin
    Niskanen – Letang
    Murray – Engelland

    Vokoun
    Fleury

  9. I think I would rather face a firing squad than listen to the NBC clowns.

    And I will definitely change the channel when the “Experts” Milbury and Roenick come on! 8-)

  10. Geez, 2 great chances already for Sid and now PP

  11. GOAL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. WOOT!!!!!!!

  13. That was very Fleury-like.

  14. Man, just by an inch! :(

  15. I never wish injury on players, but I hope Neil’s leg falls off.

  16. GENO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Nice play. Let’s hold onto the lead now.

  18. Nealer to Geno and BAM!

  19. YES

    bad turnover behind Sens net… Kunitz fires puck to net and looked like Malkin’s stick on ice for deflection

  20. Malkin and Crosby playing freely, like a world of pressure off their shoulders.

  21. Absolutely HATE these D pairings by Bylsma….

    Murray-Engelland are too slow and Niskanen-Letang are too weak around the net.

  22. Letang is letting Sens fly by him on this PP. Not good.

  23. Neil is head-hunting Crosby.

  24. did I see Morrow just level Neil??

  25. The always dangerous Tyler Kennedy…. Pens go to PP

  26. Dumb penalty. Why did he even touch him???

    This is what will cost the Pens.

    Not too smart………..

  27. Neal should never touch the puck unless he’s set up in the offensive zone. Turnover machine.

  28. Penguins had the obvious physical advantage from a talent perspective but when you turn the puck over at the blue lines, you reduce that advantage and allow teams to stay with you.

    The Penguins defense didn’t go a very good job of boxing out and that allowed a few quality chances for the Senators.

    The good news is they have 2-1 lead, had scoring chances and can still play better defensively and puck management.

  29. Vokoun sketchy at best tonight. Gotta control those rebounds and cover up…reminds me of another Pens goalie.

  30. Sens had 14 shots in the 1st period and many good chances. If that was tightening things up, I’m concerned. Offense looked great though.

    • Team needs to start forcing some turnovers at center ice. Right now (and just like against the Isles), they are too busy playing the puck and not the body, which usually leads to chasing and being out of position.

  31. This shocker just in…Pirates losing to the Brewers. Who da thunk it?

  32. After one period……………………..

    Pens have an advantage in the offensive zone. Ottawa hasnt faced an offensive team like the Pens. They have to keep creating chances and burying pucks.

    D was sketchy again in that period. I dont know if it was Ottawa’s speed, or just indixciplined play.

    Smarts werent on display yet again. Turnovers, Malkins dumb penalty, sheesh…

    Wasnt able to get a feel for that period. Teams seemed to be cautious most of the period. Obviously if the Pens reduce the turnovers, and continue to press the play in the offensive zone, they will win. Need to get their heads in the game. :)

  33. Is it just me or do both teams look sloppy as all hell? Penguins enter the Ottawa zone and turn into puck seeking phenoms and then the Ottawa takes the puck into the penguins zone and the penguins turn into.. well.. Ottawa? Also, if not for Anderson, this game is easily 4-0 right now.

    • by the way, patrick, if you’re here.. and not that I believe in pace, but penguins are on pace for dinner for Kevin for a year (6 goals) :D jk

    • Both teams are playing hard. That’s all that matters. It doesn’t matter who wins or loses – everyone is a winner.

      • I agree playing hard is important. I still don’t think the penguins look right. Fantastic in the offensive zone but much much weaker everywhere else. Malkin looks the same. Everyone praises him for pts/game (he has 2 already) but he’s already made atleast 2 mistakes I’ve seen so far.

        • I don’t really think that. I’ve been told by the blog police that I need to be more positive.

  34. Somebody needs to snap Chris Neil like a twig.

  35. Did Vokoun not see that? Cripes.

  36. When you go for a stretch pass and it is intercepted… it is automatic odd-man break, Pens start panicking in their D-zone coverage and Sens can control the puck in the zone.

    You don’t need speed like Islanders to expose this stupidity (stretch passes).

  37. Nice save by Orpik

  38. are you kidding me? How did Neal get the only penaly there?

  39. what was the penalty on Neal again? I didnt see one……..

  40. darn he missed

  41. Looking more and more like the Isles series. Pens can’t get the puck through center and are letting the Sens transition from D to O uncontested. Pens also not dictating the physical play but only retaliating to it after the fact and getting penalized in the process.

  42. Pens again awful at keeping any offensive pressure on. No forecheck at all. The other team simply stands on their blue line, forces a turnover and it’s back in the Pens end with numbers immediately. This reminds me of the pond hockey years of the late 90′s

  43. Nice hit on Grybna by Brooksie

  44. Thunderous open ice hit by Orpik

  45. As critical as I’ve been of Orpik, he’s the best Pens player on the ice so far tonight. Hopefully every one else can follow his example.

  46. Kunitz !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  47. WOOT!!!!!!!!!

  48. Smart play by Letang to push puck over to Iginla to work east-west and Kunitz!!!

  49. Yay! A 2-goal lead!! Oh, um…..

  50. Subtle play by Malkin on that Kunitz goal. Puck in skates – gets it to stick in one motion and gets the shot on goal that Kunitz knocks in for rebound. He might be the best player I’ve ever seen at using his skates to control pucks.

  51. They gotta keep the pedal on the gas and get at least one more! 2 goal leads are the worst…unless you’re Toronto. ;)

  52. KK I’m taking a break. Gettin the hubby and myself a piece of lemon cake with cream cheese icing YUM! see ya later

  53. Is it me or are the senators very good at getting their bodies in the way of the puck? Just seems like 80% of clearing attempts hit a senator.

  54. After 2 periods………………..

    These teams just dont seem to have their heads in the game.

    The Pens reduced the turnovers, which is good, but they had only 6 shots on goal. They scored another PP goal, and need to keep that up. The Sens PK is overrated, I feel.

    Vokoun has made some good saves tonight. Needs to continue.

    I think the Sens will look to up the chippy play in the third period. You saw some of that in the last part of the second period. Also, reference that mega-brawl they had with Montreal last series.

    As long as the Pens stay disciplined, they win this game.
    Would love to see the D improve, but I just think they arent hard-wired to do that.

  55. Crosby with 5 mins and change that period. Is he ok?

  56. Sens pinching, gotta make em pay.

  57. Someone has to knock Neil the F out, or shove him face first into the boards. Tired of his crap.

  58. Vitale will need an ice bath after this game. He’s taken some hits. Love the tenacity he and Kennedy are showing though.

  59. Pens have 3-1 lead… Neil punches Crosby in face going to bench… no penalty called.

  60. What a BRUTAL turnover by Letang…

  61. Maybe Ovechkin had a point about the refs…………

  62. James Neal is having a pretty bad game. Need to pick him up again…

  63. Who shot the other Mr. Norris? Went down like he got hit with a bazooka.

  64. are they auditioning for a movie part?

  65. DUPER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  66. Oh baby…. what a shot by Duper!!

  67. SUPEr DUPEr!!!!

  68. I guess the senators are now 12-1 in 3rd period goals of this post season.

  69. If this is still 4-1 in another 2 minutes, time to start kicking aSS and taking names. Especially those of Neil and the fiesty smurf Conacher

  70. Dupuis. Best pens playoff beard since Jock Callander.

  71. sit Neal down for the rest of the game

  72. Since Neal isn’t on the #1 PP unit right now, I think about sitting him for Bennett or Jokinen next game. He needs to get his head straight.

  73. Thoroughly impressed with the 327 people at the Buccos game tonight

  74. Karlsson flopping for Neal again…what a douche soaked puss Karlsson is.

  75. Neal hasn’t been much of a factor thus far in the playoffs albeit in a negative way

  76. where’d Brandie go?

  77. This game is OVER.

    It should have been a shutout for Vokoun.

  78. bug-eyed Walrus doesn’t look happy

  79. Neil’s in the pig pen

  80. someone tell the azz clown refs too little too late

  81. I’m totally PO’d that Neal was allowed to leave the ice breathing through his nose…or upright for that matter. Am I gonna have to drive up there and teach them how things are done?

  82. Pens didn’t play well defensively in first half of game but last half, did much better.

    4-1 winners!

  83. Other than the penalties, the 3rd period was solid. Nice job by Vokoun to settle down after letting in that soft goal – not used to that from a Pens goalie. Actually, I have a weird feeling that Fleury’s role in these playoffs is not over.

  84. G’night all :)

  85. The Pens looked iffy early, got much better as the game wore on.
    Fewer turnovers, improved D.
    Vokoun showed why he is in net…………… sure he had a bad goal early, but was calm the rest of the way………….. which is what a veteran should do.

    I said before the game that Montreal really didnt test the sens that much. The Pens are a whole different animal……….. especially on the PP. Anderson has to worry about more scoring threats with the Pens.

    I look for the Sens to increase the chippy play next game. Pens must stay disciplined, dont take foolish penalties, convert opportunities. I know it sounds too simple, but the Pens have shown when they do it, thbey cant be beat.

    Vokoun deserves yet another start…………… and will do so until he puts up a stinker of a game.

    Go Pens !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  86. No more talk of Fleury. Vokoun has stabilized this team, something MAF can never do.

    Pens still giving too much room on defense, but did seem to improve in the 2nd half of the game once they realized Sens do have same speed as Isles.

    Good win.

  87. Pirates update: Tabata doubled with one out and they intentionally walk Cutch to load up for the double play and what happens? Jones grounds into a double play. Pirates are like clockwork

  88. Go Pens

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.


Other Blogs
Sports: Dejan Kovacevic | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | Sitting Ringside | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports | H.S. Sports Insiders
News: This Just In | Trib List
» Top TribLIVE.com Sports
» Top TribLIVE.com News
» Top TribLIVE.com Breaking News