Once again, the Pittsburgh Penguins proved why they are the second-best team in the NHL. They covered up their flaws by capitalizing on mistakes to beat the Ottawa Senators 4-1 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
After building a 2-1 lead in the first and adding to it in the second, the Penguins had to withstand some angry pushing and shoving from the Senators in the third.
But the Penguins dished it right back ... and it got personal.
Ouch. Ottawa looked very active and it seemed for a bit that the Senators might be able to mount a comeback. They were blessed with a power play, and then promptly gave up a shorthanded goal.
The rest of the period featured even more pushing and shoving, but the Pens rode out the win.
How will Vokoun perform?
Vokoun started off a little shaky, but eventually calmed down and put on a solid performance. He stopped 35 shots and has now won three games since taking over for Marc-Andre Fleury.
Will there be any carryover between Cooke and Karlsson?
Not at all. And that really isn't very surprising considering the consequences of exacting revenge in a playoff game. Karlsson kept to himself, although he looked really slow skating around the ice. This is not the Norris Trophy winner we all know. Neil spent the whole game bothering everyone in a Penguins jersey. He finished the game with ten penalty minutes.
Will Ottawa manage more than one goal?
The Senators have now scored one goal in three out of four meetings this year with the Penguins. That won't cut it.