PITTSBURGH (AP/KDKA) – Bobby Ryan beat Marc-Andre Fleury on a breakaway 4:59 into overtime to give the Ottawa Senators a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Ryan took control near center ice and raced by Pittsburgh defenseman Olli Maatta before flipping a backhander past Fleury to give the upstart Senators early control of the series.
The Senators improved 6-1 in overtime during the playoffs.
Evgeni Malkin’s goal late in the third period forced the extra period, but the defending Stanley Cup champions struggled to generate any consistent pressure. Fleury made 33 stops, but let Ryan deke him out of position as the Penguins fell behind in a series for the first time in the playoffs.
Penguins fans watching on the big screen outside PPG Paints Arena expressed disappointment, but stressed that everything could turn around in Game 2.
“I’m feeling sad for them, but it was one game, we have six games left, we can do this, this team can do this,” Sherry Kuzma said.
“They played hard though they came back and tied it up, you can’t really be upset, we went into overtime, for Game 1, that’s pretty incredible, we’re still going to win the series, we’re taking the Cup this year,” Stephanie Kuzma said.
Medina Chebatoris hopes that some encouragement from their coach will pick the Penguins up.
“I’m glad they were able to come back in the third period, however, they did get caught flat-footed and hopefully Sullivan will light a fire under them for Monday’s game,” she said.
Game 2 is Monday night in Pittsburgh.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)