The Pittsburgh Penguins’ special teams helped them take down the Ottawa Senators 4-1 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Tuesday night at Consol Energy Center.
Defenseman Paul Martin and left wing Chris Kunitz each scored power-play goals while right wing Pascal Dupuis added a shorthanded goal for his sixth of the playoffs.
Evgeni Malkin extended his points streak to seven games with a goal and an assist for the Pens. He has three goals and 10 assists for a total of 13 points over the streak.
Tomas Vokoun continued to get the job done between the pipes as he stopped 35 of 36 shots and posted his third consecutive win since replacing Marc-Andre Fleury prior to Game 5 against the Islanders.
Paul Martin opened the assault on the scoreboard with a power-play goal in the first period. His shot from the right point deflected off Ottawa defenseman Jared Cowen and then slipped past Senators goaltender Craig Anderson to give Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead at 2:41 of the first period.
Ottawa’s only score came at 4:51 of the first period when right wing Erik Condra won the battle in the corner for the puck and threw it from behind the net to the right post to catch Vokoun out of position. The puck trickled behind him and was poked in by left wing Colin Greening for the score.
Left wing Chris Kunitz sent a pass to Evgeni Malkin just outside the goal crease at 12:15 of the first period and all Geno had to do was to tap it in to put Pittsburgh back in front to stay.
Pittsburgh went back on the power play late in the second period and Kunitz stuffed home a rebound off an Jarome Iginla shot at 18:33 to increase the Penguins lead to 3-1.
Right wing Pascal Dupuis beat Anderson at the end of a shorthanded 2-on-1 breakaway with 8:36 left in the third period to seal the deal for the Penguins.
Anderson, who sported a .950 save percentage in Ottawa’s five-game first-round elimination of Montreal, finished the game stopping 26 of 30 shots.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Consol Energy Center. The contest will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network.
From The Clipboard: Pittsburgh chose to scratch defensemen Simon Despres and Mark Eaton along with left wing Tanner Glass, right wing Beau Bennett, and center Jussi Jokinen for the first game against the Senators….Sidney Crosby didn’t record a point, but his next will be his 100th in the playoffs….Jarome Iginla finished with an assist to extend his postseason point streak to seven games while Dupuis’ goal pushed his point streak to seven games….The Penguins’ power play converted seven of 21 chances against the Islanders in the first round. That worked out to an impressive 33.3 percent success rate.