Penguins strike early, rout Senators 7-0 to take 3-2 lead

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

That didn't allow him to score on the initial setup from Jake Guentzel, but helped him to bang in the follow-up for the 2-0 lead. Still, they stressed the importance of finding a way to keep it going in a series that saw the teams alternate wins and losses through the first four games. And now the hockey world is watching because we know that you can't just assume it's going to happen again.

The Penguins might already be there. Ottawa's power play has been streaky all year, and now would be the time to go on a hot streak.

Pittsburgh's power play went three-for-three, while Ottawa is mired in an 0-for-29 drought with the man advantage that extends over their last 10 games.

Pittsburgh stuck with Murray on Sunday, and he responded by saving all 12 shots he faced in the first period to maintain the initial momentum.

MADRID - Real Madrid won the Spanish league for the first time in five years on Sunday, avoiding its worst title drought since the 1980s and keeping Barcelona from its third straight championship.

The Penguins jumped out to a 4-0 first-period lead and never looked back.

While Karlsson has beeen playing with two hairline fractures in his foot, Ceci and Brassard both came down with new ailments and the status for all three is unknown.

Some might look at the Bruins and feel like it was a missed opportunity for them to be a surprise team that could have gone on a run this spring if they'd made it past the Senators.

"When you look back, I thought the first two periods weren't as good as I would have liked", Boucher said. "Just because they had one game that was a blowout, doesn't mean they're a better all-round team than we are".

Bryan Rust had a goal and an assist in his return from a concussion. The margin of victory was the largest in a conference final since Detroit beat Colorado 7-0 in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals. Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin played in his 141st postseason game, surpassing Jaromir Jagr for the most in franchise history.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Nashville Predators don't have their top center, and their captain is day to day with an upper-body injury. F Conor Sheary was a healthy scratch. He also moved ahead of Mario Lemieux into second on Pittsburgh's career postseason assist list with 98.

Boucher said no one should get caught up in the results of one game. And the Pens' frustrations with Washington's physicality - and not necessarily the "dirty" kind - revealed themselves late, symbolized by a retaliatory Matt Cullen slash that preceded two quick insurance goals by the Caps. His truck broke down on the way to the rink. Rust, making his return, picked up the bad pass by Hoffman, and dropped the puck back to Maata, who fired it by Anderson on the stick side at 8:14 of the first.

With the series even at 2-2, Ottawa Senators takes on Pittsburgh Penguins in the in the Eastern Conference Final, game 5 Sunday evening.

While coach Guy Boucher lamented his team's "puck fumbling" that prevented any sort of rhythm on an ineffective power play, he also knows what he's up against. The Bruins came within an overtime goal of pushing Ottawa to a Game 7 in their own building despite missing so many players from their roster.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Ron Hainsey (65) celebrates with goalie Matt Murray (30) after beating the Ottawa Senators in game five of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena.

The Michigan native laid a hit on Senators defenseman Chris Wideman and took the puck, turning it immediately into an early shot on Craig Anderson that was saved, just 2:34 into the game.

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