PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Ottawa Senators heard the naysayers. The chorus has grown so loud over the last month, tuning it out simply wasn’t an option no matter how many one-goal victories they pulled off in the playoffs.
“A lot of people were doubting us and almost made us start doubting ourselves,” defenseman Cody Ceci said.
Emphasis on almost.
If there was any concern Ottawa was just happy to be in the Eastern Conference finals, it vanished by the time Bobby Ryan slipped a backhander by Marc-Andre Fleury 4:59 into overtime Saturday night for a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1.
The team that spent most of the season trying to figure out roles in first-year coach Guy Boucher’s throwback 1-3-1 neutral-zone trap and the goalie who spent half the…