Commentary, news, analysis and reader-driven discussions focusing on this year's Stanley Cup playoffs.
By Allan Muir, SI.com
1. Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim - Another night, another first-star performance from Anaheim's sensational sophomore. He was the game's most dangerous forward, creating at least five good scoring chances before finally netting the tying goal early in the third period -- on a great individual effort. Getzlaf took the puck at the top of the circle, drove hard to the net, then fooled Sens goalie Ray Emery by switching to his backhand at the last second. He also was a stalwart on defense, staying on the ice for almost the entirety of a 90-second 5-on-3 opportunity for the Senators.
2. Travis Moen, Anaheim The author of the Game 1-winning goal is hardly the unlikeliest hero on the Anaheim roster -- Shawn Thornton will have to wait his turn in the spotlight -- but Moen's night would have been considered a success simply on the basis of eliminating Ottawa's big line. With the game on the line in the third, his linemates handed him two chances in-alone on Emery. The Ottawa netminder stuffed him on the first, but Moen got revenge on his second opportunity, snapping a rolling pass from Rob Niedermayer into the far corner for the deciding tally.
3. Anton Volchenkov, Ottawa Ottawa wasted a monster performance from this gritty blueliner. Volchenkov blocked 10 shots in less than 20 minutes of ice time, offering the kind of selfless effort that too many of his teammates failed to emulate.
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Alfredsson + Spezza + Heatley = Overrated
The one thing teams in the East don't know is: Physical Play
The Ducks have size, speed and play with force. The only thing Ottawa can hope for is more dumb penalties by Anaheim. Will the Ducks commit more of those this series? Yes. Are the Ducks really worried about it? No. Even defending 5-on-3s isn't all that bad for the renown blue-line corps. Yes, all six Anaheim defenseman ... that don't get the respect past the Big 3.
Luckily for the Senators ... they can blame it on the long layoff. Wait till they have to travel back-and-forth like the West Coast teams do all the time. During these playoffs the Sens didn't even see the Rocky Mountains under their charter jet. Suck it up, Ottawa. Winners come through when adversity reveals itself.
Yeah, GO DUCKS!!!!!!!!
The Ducks get four stars. They played the Senators and the Zebras all night. Yes the Ducks took some dumb penalties ... but the Senators weren't called for a number of obvious penalties when the Ducks had them pinned in their own end. The last Phantom call on Chris Pronger to make it 6-on-4 to end the game was the icing on the cake - there wasn't a Senator within ten feet of him when he was whistled for hooking.
If the refs call the finals as they've been calling it all season, the Sens will be having a power play party ... All Ottawa has to do is win game two and they're back home. Nothing can stop them then ...
The Ducks physical play steadily wore Ottawa down;The Senators previous opponents were nowhere nearly as imposing and if the Spezza line doesn't get untracked this series will be short. Game two is do or die for Ottawa!!
Ottawa didn't have their legs. the best way to combat size is speed and agressiveness. I think ottawa was agressive but they didn't have enough speed. Wait and see, i think Ottawa will come out and proove they are worthy of Lord Stanleys cup!!!!!!!
Go Sens Go!!!!!
Pahlsson should be the number one star of this game and of the playoffs. His grit has gone unnoticed of late due to Getzlaf scoring of late. If the ducks learn to play as hard as Pahlsson and not take dumb penalties, this is a no-contest.
Anaheim has always been slow coming off an extended break, but haven't always broken. For the players to say they were hurt by the layoff is a bad excuse for their play. Just say you didn't play hard enough, no excuses, and that you'll be ready for game 2. The sens were outworked badly at times and it wasn't due to a layoff. They just weren't ready for the size and speed of the ducks. The sens might have speed but they don't have the size and strenght to match the ducks. They need to use their smarts. If they do that will be ready to play against the ducks and make it a great series.