Kes­sel and Fleury lift Pens over Sens

Close 1-0 Pitts­burgh vic­tory evens NHL’s best-of-seven East­ern Con­fer­ence fi­nal at 1-1

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - SHELLY AN­DER­SON

PITTS­BURGH — Phil Kes­sel scored at 13:05 of the third pe­riod to break up a goal­tend­ing duel and give the Pitts­burgh Pen­guins a 1-0 win over the Ot­tawa Sen­a­tors in Game 2 of the Na­tional Hockey League’s East­ern Con­fer­ence fi­nal Mon­day night at PPG Paints Arena.

That gives the teams a 1-1 split head­ing to Ot­tawa for the next two games. Game 3 is Wednesday.

Pens goalie Marc-An­dré Fleury made 22 saves to earn his sec­ond shutout of the play­offs, and sec­ond in three games, as well as the 10th of his ca­reer in the post-sea­son.

Ot­tawa goal­tender Craig An­der­son also was strong, stop­ping 28-of-29 Pitts­burgh shots.

Kes­sel scored on his own re­bound from the slot af­ter his ini­tial shot was blocked by Jean-Gabriel Pageau.

Kes­sel had gone three games with no points and had just one point, a goal, in his pre­vi­ous five games.

From late in the sec­ond pe­riod un­til af­ter Kes­sel scored, the Sen­a­tors went 18:53 with­out a shot, be­fore Fleury stopped one by Zack Smith.

Pitts­burgh, al­ready play­ing with­out winger Pa­tric Horn­qvist af­ter he left warm-ups early, was un­der­manned most of the game af­ter it lost two play­ers to in­juries in the first pe­riod.

Top-line winger Bryan Rust left af­ter he took a big hit from Ot­tawa de­fence­man Dion Pha­neuf and fell back­ward hard onto the ice. A lit­tle later, de­fence­man Justin Schultz ap­peared to hurt his right arm or shoul­der go­ing into the end boards be­hind the Pen­guins net.

Nei­ther of the plays re­sulted in a penalty.

There was no im­me­di­ate up­date on the in­jured play­ers.

The Pen­guins made shoot­ing more a pri­or­ity com­ing into Game 2. They didn’t get to that early on, trail­ing in shots 10-8 af­ter the first.

Pitts­burgh picked things up over the course of the sec­ond pe­riod and led in shots 20-16 go­ing into the third, but to no avail, thanks to An­der­son.

BRUCE BEN­NETT, GETTY IMAGES

Dion Pha­neuf (2) of the Ot­tawa Sen­a­tors hits Pen­guins’ Bryan Rust on Mon­day night in Pitts­burgh.

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