PITTSBURGH - APRIL 16: Jarkko Ruutu #73 of the Ottawa Senators handles the puck in front of Pascal Dupuis #9 of the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Mellon Arena on April 16, 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Letang's Late Goal Gives Pens 2-1 Win; Knots Series With Sens

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Andy Sutton Has Issue With Reporter Over Leopold Hit

We reviewed Andy Sutton's hit on Jordon Leopold already but Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Ray Fittipaldo had to ask Sutton his opinion on the hit. More specifically, if he "knew" his elbow hit Leopold. Hilarity ensues:

I have to disagree with Fittipaldi in that Sutton's elbow was clearly tucked when he hit Leopold. Everyone has their own opinion though right?


Senators' Brian Elliott Main Reason Senators Were In Game For So Long

The Pittsburgh Penguins had more scoring chances and controlled the pace of the game for most of the night against the Senators in Game Two. The Senators were in the game for so long due to the play of goaltender Brian Elliott. Here is what our Senators site, Silver Seven, had to say about Elliott:

The Sens hero tonight. Elliott stopped 29 of 31 shots, and when he needed to be there for the team, he was. He had help from his defencemen, to be sure: They blocked 13 shots, and cleared rebounds to prevent second and third chances. But really, Elliott was calm and composed, and that bodes well for the Senators moving forward in the series.

Whether Elliott can continue to carry the Senators for three more wins has yet to be seen, but the Senators still have three home games left.


Penguins Increased Intensity Leads To Game Two Victory

After Peter Regin scored 18 seconds into Game Two of the Penguins/Senators series, it looked like a repeat of Game One for the Penguins. An increase in intensity and energy though lead to increased chances and eventually to Letang's goal in the third period. Our Penguins site, Pensburgh, believes this is what the Penguins need to keep doing to win the series. 

Pittsburgh's defense was altogether more solid this game than last. Whether it was the coaching staff or the Captain lighting a fire under everyone, whatever it was worked. Here's hoping the team realizes that this sort of play, this level of intensity is what it's going to take to beat the Senators this series.

Whether the intensity level will stay increased on the road is yet to be seen. The Senators are a far better home team than on the road and have the advantage of three home games to the Penguins two.


Penguins 2, Senators 1: Letang's Late Goal Knots Series

For more, check out our Penguins blog, PensBurgh, and our Senators blog, Silver Seven.

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Kris Letang recorded the game-winning score late in regulation as Pittsburgh nipped Ottawa, 2-1, in Game 2 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal from Mellon Arena.

Sidney Crosby added a goal and one assist for the Penguins, who had dropped the series opener on Wednesday.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 19-of-20 shots for the win.

Peter Regin picked up the lone score for the Senators, who return to Canada's capital for Game 3 on Sunday having gained a split on the road.

Brian Elliott played well in defeat, making 29 stops.


Andy Sutton Runs Over Jordan Leopold In First Period

Late in the first period, Andy Sutton laid a bonecrushing, but fairly legal, hit on Jordan Leopold that sent Sutton through the penalty box door. Watch the video here:

While Sutton leaves his feet after the hit, his feet are on the ice as he delivers the check. Whether there will be anything supplementary for a hit to the head is yet to be seen, but it really wasn't a blind side hit either.


Open Game Threads From Our Penguins And Senators Blogs

By the time the Penguins and Senators see the puck drop at 7:00 P.M., our SB Nation blogs will have open game threads ready. If you're a Pens or Sens fan, you'll want to give them a look.

Penguins game thread at PensBurgh
Senators game thread at Silver Seven


Final Game At Ole' Mellon? Sens Look To Take 2-0 Series Lead Over Pens Tonight

PITTSBURGH (Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Penguins will try to bounce back from a loss tonight, when the defending Stanley Cup champions host the Ottawa Senators at Mellon Arena in Game 2 of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

Ottawa posted a 5-4 road victory to open the series Wednesday in the Steel City. Jarkko Ruutu's goal midway through the third period proved to be the game-winner for the fifth-seeded Senators, who will try to grab a two games to none lead before this series shifts to Ottawa for Games 3 and 4.

The Penguins, winners of the last two Eastern Conference titles, showed the ability to come back from 1-0 series deficits last spring. Pittsburgh lost a pair of Game 1 decisions during its championship run and even fell behind 2-0 to Detroit in the Stanley Cup Finals before winning that series in seven games.

"It is never easy to dominate a playoff game in a series," said Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby following the Game 1 loss. "To sit here and think that every shift is going to be in our favor, it's just not going to happen. That's why it's important to make the most of our chances when we get them."

The Senators, who are back in the playoffs for the 12th time in 13 seasons after failing to qualify last year, used a balanced scoring attack to down the Penguins in the series' opener. Peter Regin, Chris Kelly, Erik Karlsson and Chris Neil joined Ruutu in scoring goals for Ottawa.

"The first few minutes we were tentative at times, and at the end, they made us nervous, but we held on," said Ottawa head coach Cory Clouston.

Brian Elliott needed to make just 17 saves to earn the victory in his playoff debut.

Evgeni Malkin scored twice for the Penguins, who are trying to become the first team to win back-to-back Stanley Cup titles since Detroit pulled off the repeat in 1997 and '98. Malkin has seven goals against Ottawa this year, including his five tallies in four games during the regular-season series.

Craig Adams and Alex Goligoski also scored in the losing effort, while Marc- Andre Fleury allowed five goals on 26 shots for Pittsburgh. Crosby, who tied for the NHL lead with 51 goals during the regular season, added three assists in the loss.

"The most important thing is to try to move on and get ready for the next game," said Fleury.

Speaking of moving on, Ottawa will be forced to play the rest of the postseason without left wing Milan Michalek, who suffered a season-ending ACL tear in his left knee on Wednesday. He is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair the damage at a later date.

Michalek initially hurt his knee in a March 18 game against Atlanta and returned for the final two games of the regular season. He aggravated the problem in the second period of Game 1 and had to limp off the ice. Michalek was Ottawa's third-leading goal scorer during the regular season with 22 and added 12 assists for 34 points in 66 games.

The Michalek injury is more bad news for Ottawa, which is also without defenseman Filip Kuba and forward Alex Kovalev. Kuba is sidelined indefinitely following back surgery, while Kovalev is out for the playoffs after also suffering a torn ACL during the final week of the regular season.

The Senators and Penguins split four games during an up-and-down season series. Pittsburgh outscored the Senators, 12-3, in its two victories while Ottawa had a combined 10-3 edge in goals in its wins.

These clubs never met in the playoffs prior to 2007, but this marks the third time in four seasons that the Pens and Sens will face off in the postseason. Ottawa ousted the Penguins in five games during the opening round of the playoffs in 2007, but Pittsburgh exacted revenge with a sweep in the conference quarterfinals the following spring.

Game 3 is set for Sunday at Ottawa's Scotiabank Place.

The Penguins were 25-12-4 as the host this year, while the Sens struggled on the road, going 18-21-2 away from Canada's capital city.

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