PENGUINS TAKE GAME 1
Evgeni Malkin (3) had a goal and assist, and Tomas Vokoun made 35 saves, leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals to take a 1-0 series lead.
Paul Martin (2, power play), Chris Kunitz (3) and Pascal Dupuis (6, shorthanded) scored in the win.
Malkin tonight collecting points 12 and 13 of the playoffs, extended his points streak to seven games as did Jarome Iginla and Pascal Dupuis. Iginla assisted on Chris Kunitz power play marker at 18:33 of the second period and now has 2 goals and 8 assists in the playoffs, while Dupuis scored his team-leading sixth goal of the playoffs, burying a 2-on-1 opportunity shorthanded at 11:24 of the third period to push the Penguins lead to 4-1.
Tomas Vokoun again gave the Penguins stability in goal, improving to 3-0 in the post-season and his leash as the Penguins No. 1 goaltender continues to get longer.
A storyline in Game 1 is the great night the Penguins had on special teams as the Senators will soon find out if they haven’t already that you can’t take penalties against the Penguins. Despite boasting one of the NHL’s best penalty kill units, the Penguins scored at will on the man-advantage, officially going 2 of 4 on the power play, but the Penguins were really 2 of 3 as they threw out a makeshift power play in the final seconds.
Kyle Turris took a high sticking penalty a 1:12 into the game and the Penguins made the Senators pay as Paul Martin scored with a shot from the point, 2:41 into the game to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead, and then Chris Kunitz made it 3-1 on the power play with a 1:27 left in the second period in what was a crushing goal for the Senators who got the game to slow down in the second period.
Pascal Dupuis would add a shorthanded goal in the third period as the special teams battle was strongly in the Penguins favor in Game 1.
For a Senators team that relies on dirty goals in front of the net to win hockey games, they need to get production from their power play to survive in this series and that didn’t happen tonight as the Penguins were 5 for 5 on the PK and are now 23 of 25 on the penalty kill in the playoffs.