The coach's decision to sit Ruslan Fedotenko in favor of the hulking Mike Rupp sparked the Penguins to play a more physical contest Friday night. Pittsburgh not only tied the series with a 2-1 win, but fixed a number of problem areas from Game 1 in the process.
Pittsburgh, which dished out 38 hits against Ottawa on Wednesday, registered 52 in Game 2. Each Penguin delivered at least one check. Defenseman Brooks Orpik led the team with nine. Even Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin joined in, combining for five.
Pittsburgh limited the Senators to 20 shots by keeping the Senators engaged in tougher play.
Despite allowing a goal 18 seconds into the game, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury benefitted from the limited workload and played with more confidence as the game progressed.
The raised intensity, however, resulted in a shortened Penguins bench. Ottawa's Andy Sutton delivered a clean, but devastating hit to Pittsburgh's Jordan Leopold near the end of the first period. Leopold, who was motionless on the ice for a few moments, left under his own power and did not return.