NHL Playoff Roundup
PITTSBURGH ó The Ottawa Senators and the Pittsburgh Penguins staged a near replay of their playoff Game 1 from last season, only with a much different result.
Gary Roberts and Petr Sykora scored in the first period and the favored Penguins, determined not to duplicate their awful postseason opener of a year ago, rode Marc-Andre Fleury’s goaltending after that to a 4-0 victory over Ottawa in the Eastern Conference playoffs Wednesday night.
Roberts had two goals, only one fewer than he had during an injury-interrupted season, and Evgeni Malkin ó the NHL’s No. 2 scorer ó had a goal and two assists.
Pittsburgh, which never recovered from its opening-game 6-3 loss to Ottawa during their five-game series last April, takes a 1-0 lead into Game 2 on Friday night. The Penguins have won their last nine home games.
Fleury made 26 saves in his first career playoff shutout, twice stopping Cory Stillman during an extended Ottawa power play late in the second period in which Pittsburgh was down two men for nearly a minute. Fleury is 11-2-1 since returning Feb. 28 from a nearly three-month layoff with a badly sprained ankle.
Pittsburgh also was down two men for 50 seconds early in the third, but the Senators ó a below-.500 club since their NHL-record 13-1 start ó couldn’t get the puck past former No. 1 draft pick Fleury in only his second career postseason victory. The Senators were 0-for-7 on the power play.
It was a major turnaround from last April, when the Senators jumped on Fleury and the playoff-inexperienced Penguins for a 2-0 less than seven minutes into Game 1 in Ottawa and went on to dominate the series despite losing the next game.
Avalanche 3, Wild 2, OT
ST. PAUL, Minn. ó Joe Sakic added another line to his amazing playoff resume.
Sakic tipped in a shot by Ruslan Salei from the point with 8:49 remaining in overtime, his eighth career playoff goal in extra time, to send the Colorado Avalanche past the Minnesota Wild 3-2 on Wednesday night.
That gave Colorado a 1-0 lead in this first-round series. Game 2 is here on Friday
By Leigha Hougland and Kaitlyn Cuevas For The Salisbury Post Imagine yourself on stage in front of thousands of screaming... read more