May 15, 2013 in Sports

Penguins use power play to beat Senators

Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Pittsburgh’s Chris Kunitz scores a second-period goal against Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson.
(Full-size photo)

The Ottawa Senators know there is little margin for error if they want to upset the Pittsburgh Penguins.

If they don’t slow down Pittsburgh’s potent power play, they’ll have a difficult time against Sidney Crosby and the rest of the Penguins.

Paul Martin and Chris Kunitz scored power-play goals and Pascal Dupuis added his sixth goal of the playoffs and the host Penguins beat the Senators 4-1 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Tuesday.

“We know it’s a good start, but it’s just like the rest of the playoffs we know it’s just the start,” Pittsburgh forward Jarome Iginla said.

A promising one at that.

Evgeni Malkin extended his points streak to seven games with a goal and an assist for the Penguins while Tomas Vokoun stopped 35 shots to win his third straight game since replacing struggling starter Marc-Andre Fleury.

Colin Greening scored for the Senators. Craig Anderson made 26 saves but Ottawa had no answer for Pittsburgh’s power play.

“Their power play is good,” Anderson said. “We knew that going in and if we want to have good chance to win a game we’re going to have to shoot down their special teams. It’s huge for them. If we’re able to kill those off, it’s a different game.”

It wasn’t in the opener.

The Senators had the NHL’s best penalty kill during the regular season and turned aside 16 of 19 penalties against Montreal in the first round.

Yet they couldn’t stop the Penguins from going 2 for 4 on the power play to improve to 9 of 24 with the man advantage in the playoffs, the best of the eight teams remaining.

“This power play that they have with all those players, they’re dangerous,” Ottawa defenseman Marc Methot said. “Whether we’ve got to play with more discipline, whatever that is, whatever the answer is it’s something we have to focus in on.”

Better hurry up. Game 2 is on Friday night and the Penguins appear to be hitting their stride after needing six games to get by the Islanders.

Kings 2, Sharks 0: Jonathan Quick made 35 saves in his sixth career playoff shutout, and Los Angeles opened its second-round series with a win over visiting San Jose.

Slava Voynov and Mike Richards each had a goal and an assist in the defending Stanley Cup champions’ 11th straight victory at Staples Center since March.

With yet another dominant playoff performance by Quick, Los Angeles opened the NHL’s fourth all-California playoff series with its fifth straight victory after a 0-2 start to its title defense.

The Kings’ Conn Smythe Trophy winner allowed just 10 goals in the six-game first round against St. Louis before frustrating the Sharks, whose superior speed and passing produced nothing.

Antti Niemi stopped 18 shots for the Sharks, who swept Vancouver out of the first round.

Game 2 is Thursday.

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