PITTSBURGH — Bobby Ryan beat Marc-Andre Fleury on a breakaway 4:59 into overtime to give the Ottawa Senators a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Ryan took control near center ice and raced past Pittsburgh defenseman Olli Maatta before flipping a backhander past Fleury to give the upstart Senators early control of the series.

The Senators improved to 6-1 in overtime during the playoffs.

Game 2 is Monday night in Pittsburgh.

Ryan assisted on Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s first-period goal. Craig Anderson made 27 saves.

Evgeni Malkin’s goal late in the third period forced overtime, but the defending Stanley Cup champions struggled to generate any consistent pressure. Fleury made 33 stops but let Ryan deke him out of position as the Penguins fell behind in a series for the first time in the playoffs.

Pittsburgh only had 72 hours to recharge following a draining seven-game series against Washington. While the Penguins insisted they would have no problem turning the page with a spot in the Stanley Cup finals on the line, there was a dip in intensity both on the ice and in the stands.

Ottawa took the lead 14:32 into the first period after Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin left a blind drop pass behind his net that Ryan intercepted and slipped to Pageau in the right circle.

It appeared that goal would be enough until Malkin redirected a Chris Kunitz shot between Anderson’s legs with 5:35 left in the third.

NOTES

Kariya returns: Paul Kariya made a rare appearance at Honda Center in Anaheim on Thursday when he participated in the team’s “Paint It Orange” campaign in which Ducks alumni count down the 16 playoff wins needed to win the Stanley Cup.

Kariya, the franchise’s first star who came to the team after winning a national championship and the Hobey Baker Award at the University of Maine, has mostly kept a low profile since his retirement in 2010.

Kariya appeared with Kai Quinonez, an eighth-grade hockey player with a rare lifelong condition known as aplastic anemia who met the Ducks through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.