This time, Penguins a true playoff team
The building was ready to burst when the lights went down just before face-off, and the Penguins players on the bench could hardly contain themselves during the dual national anthems.
But it was efficiency and energy as much as emotion that beat the Ottawa Senators, 4-0.
The Penguins played hard, but within themselves.
No small trick that, given the circumstances.
It was Ottawa that had bullied, bruised and quickly eliminated the Penguins a postseason ago.
The Penguins had made no secret of their desire to send a message to the Senators in the days leading up to Game 1, or their intent to set a tone for a series they were determined to will to a different outcome.
As if to emphasize the point, the pregame festivities included the phrase "This Is Our Time" emblazoned in lights across the Mellon Arena ice.
It may be, at that. But to realize it, these Penguins are going to have to take their time.
That was a message veterans Petr Sykora and Jarkko Ruutu had been promoting, to the media and perhaps to their teammates through the media in advance of the hostilities.
One shift, one period at a time.
Win the little battles. Win in your own end.
Play the system, not the score sheet.
Be spectacular if possible, but gritty and responsible above all else.
Such patience played out not to perfection on Wednesday night, but to the desired end.
The Penguins' talent contributed.
Their tenacity won the game.
Gary Roberts got 'em started by ambushing Wade Redden behind the Ottawa net and then batting in a Georges Laraque rebound at 68 seconds.
Max Talbot also assisted on the type of playoff goal the Penguins are going to have to continue to score.
Sykora got another one on the type of play the Penguins are capable of when they're able to turn a seemingly harmless play along the boards into a two-on-one break.
Just as significant were the likes of Roberts and Laraque combining for a second-period cycle in the Ottawa zone that threatened not to end.
And Sidney Crosby extending to deflect a pass intended for sniper Dany Heatley in the high slot.
And Ruutu hustling for a loose puck and drawing a penalty.
And Kris Letang shooting the puck and driving the net and drawing a penalty.
The Senators offered relatively little resistance, but before the Penguins put them away late Ottawa had two chances to get back into the game thanks to 57- and 52-second two-man advantages.
The Penguins' penalty-killers wouldn't let them.
It was only one game.
But already this has a different feel.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers trying to get missing defensive pieces on field
- In reworking contract, Steelers WR Brown gets hefty pay raise
- MLB notebook: Chickenpox diagnoses cause concern for Royals
- Everly steps in as full-time starter under center for Yough
- Apollo-Ridge girls set for WPIAL debut
- Gorman: Time for new ‘House rules
- After standout junior season, Frazier’s Patterson looking for bigger, better things
- North Allegheny, Ellis School hope to defend field hockey titles
- 2-year-old boy shot, killed in North Side; stepfather charged
- Steelers notebook: New kicker Scobee relishes opportunity
- Authorities in Illinois hunt for 3 in officer’s slaying