"We were right there", Anderson said. "We found a way". His third-period goal was enough to secure the 1-0 win, though, and Kessel is now up to six goals and 14 points through 14 postseason games. Following the game, Kessel said he couldn't remember what he said.
"To be honest I think I yelled more than once tonight, so I don't remember that time", Kessel said with a laugh.
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan challenged his team to stop searching for the ideal shot and just fire it at Anderson instead after Pittsburgh struggled to create any traffic in front of the goaltender during a 2-1 overtime loss in Game 1.
Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury makes a save as Brian Dumoulin (8) battles the Senators' Tommy Wingels (57) during the second period of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. He has allowed two goals during that span.
Anderson finished with 28 saves but received little help in front of him.
Pittsburgh outshot Ottawa 12-6 in the second period and had the first eight shots of the third. "I thought we didn't manage the puck well on our breakouts at all". We threw the puck away, and it created some momentum in our zone for the opponent.
And while Senators fans would have loved to have taken the first two games of the series - especially on the road in Pittsburgh - many weren't letting the Game 2 loss get to them. They stopped a combined 18 shots in the first period and performed their best brick-wall impersonations. The five remaining defensemen all played at least 20 minutes, including 24:49 from 37-year-old Ron Hainsey, who is in the playoffs for the first time in his career.
"Wait", Fleury said when asked about what he did between Senators shots. "I catch an edge, it's in the net".
Pittsburgh's ability to hog the puck hardly seemed to bother the Senators, who have proven repeatedly during their deepest playoff run in a decade they're just fine sitting back and waiting for an opening to counter. I tried to talk to the guys when they came by and tried to keep my head into it.
Top-line winger Bryan Rust left after he took a big hit from Senators 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.
Pittsburgh forward Patric Hornqvist did not play because of an undisclosed injury after participating in line rushes during warmups. Hornqvist did not practice Sunday.
No in-game updates were available on Schultz, a former Oklahoma City Barons defenseman, or Rust.
NOTES: Pittsburgh LW Carl Hagelin (lower body) and D Trevor Daley (lower body) missed the game, and RW Tom Kuhnhackl was a healthy scratch for the second straight game.
Until that surge - even until Kessel scored - it was anyone's game.