And so it begins: the Eastern Conference finals.
The Ottawa Senators, only four wins away from the Stanley Cup finals, headed across the border Saturday night to take on Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Yet again, it was another overtime thriller. Let's take things over to Twitter for the recap.
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Much as ancient Scottish clans used bagpipes to frighten and intimidate their enemies, Ottawa fans back home — well, one particular teenaged fan, at least — had the same idea Saturday night on Sens Mile.
Perhaps the musical intimidation worked, because it would be Ottawa scoring first — specifically, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, the man who terrorized New York so thoroughly in Game 2 of the previous series.
It's worth taking a moment to appreciate the nifty pass from Bobby Ryan that set it up.
Reminder: if you're excitedly texting your pals about big Ottawa Senators goals, keep an eye on that sneaky autocorrect function.
The Sens killed off three penalties in the first period, negated a fourth one early in the second, and then a Mark Stone interference infraction sent the Penguins back onto the power play for a fifth time.
That was when Craig Anderson decided to defy a handful of well-established laws of physics:
Gloved by Andy. pic.twitter.com/9xlB1cS6pE— @Senators
The big save kept the Senators in front, and they almost added another one with about seven minutes left in the period, sneaking the puck past Penguins netminder Marc-André Fleury and into the corner of the net.
But the goal was disallowed, with the referee claiming he was in the process of blowing his whistle as Fleury had already gloved the puck.
Had he? Let's take a look.
Those were a few of the only highlights in the second, which ended the same way it began: with the Senators up by a lone goal.
On Twitter, some folks may have suggested during the second intermission that the Sens' defence-first approach to Game 1 was proving less than thrilling.
When people call your team that's winning in the Conference Finals boring pic.twitter.com/ceaXyoYJUw— @BonksMullet
Indeed, no cares were given until about 5:35 left in the third, when Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin spun and tipped the puck backhanded past Anderson — tying the game at a goal apiece.
Some had been wondering earlier in Game 1 why Malkin hadn't been more of a presence. No longer.
Remember when they told you Malkin looked disengaged? pic.twitter.com/QEYkf4R3Ja— @ChartingHockey
And so, for the seventh time during the 2017 NHL playoffs, the Ottawa Senators would be forced to settle matters in overtime.
Who would be the hero? Once again, it would be Bobby Ryan, who found a burst of speed five minutes into extra time and put a backhand past Fleury — his second overtime winner of the 2017 playoffs.
Ryan may have had a forgettable regular season, but the way things have been going lately for the Sens, it's easy to chuckle about it.
Pageau: "I didn't know Bobby Ryan could skate that fast"— @NKB121
None of us did, JGP. None of us did.
We do now, though. The series stays in Pittsburgh for Game 2, getting underway Monday night at 8 p.m. ET.