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NHL Playoffs: Grades for Night 18

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer

Henrik Lundqvist stopped 45 shots for the Rangers but it wasn't enough. (USATSI)Brandon Sutter and the Pens beat the Senators for a 2-0 series lead. (USATSI)

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B+Don't let the close score fool you, this was perhaps the best game the Penguins played the entire postseason both in terms of carrying the play, generating chances, and preventing chances. The Penguins won Game 1 on the strength of their goaltending and special teams. They took this one because of their 5-on-5 play, which is something that had been holding them back earlier in the playoffs.
C-The Senators were lucky to even be in this game, and had it not been for Robin Lehner playing extremely well off the bench in place of Craig Anderson they probably wouldn't have been in it. They were badly outshot, outchanced, and just didn't seem to be on the same level with the Penguins at any point in the game.
A+These are the types of games that remind you once again just how dominant Sidney Crosby can be. He was by far the best player on the ice, recording his second career hat trick, registering six shots on goal, and carrying the Penguins to a 10-5 shot advantage while he was on the ice. Huge performance.
DCraig Anderson wasn't the only reason the Senators lost, and maybe not even the biggest reason, but he has to be better than he was on Friday night. If the Senators are going to have a chance in this series he's going to need to be great and steal some games for them. He did not do that in this game, taking a seat on the bench just three minutes into the third period.
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