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game recap

Penguins 4, Senators 0

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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Penguins 4, Senators 0
Ottawa Senators 0, Pittsburgh Penguins 4

PITTSBURGH - 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 post-season 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 — the NHL's No. 2 scorer — 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 — a below-.500 club since their NHL-record 13-1 start — couldn't get the puck past former No. 1 draft pick Fleury in only his second career post-season 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.

On Tuesday, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said it was imperative to avoid such a letdown — and he showed some playoff grit of his own by trading swings with Wade Redden late in the game after Crosby was pummelled while carrying the puck to the net.

Two of Pittsburgh's most experienced players made certain that letdown didn't happen as Roberts, who turns 42 next month, exasperated the Senators yet again with two more goals. Roberts played on Maple Leafs teams that eliminated Ottawa three times during a four-season span from 2001-04.

Roberts, out since Dec. 29 with a broken leg until returning Sunday in Philadelphia, kept Redden away from the puck behind the Senators end not long after the opening faceoff. That allowed Georges Laraque to grab the puck and get it back to Roberts in front, where he beat Martin Gerber in close with only 1:08 gone — Roberts' first goal since a two-goal game Dec. 23 against Boston.

Sykora, who didn't score in Pittsburgh's final six regular-season games, made it 2-0 with 7-1/2 minutes left in the first, working a 2-on-1 break with Malkin after Mike Commodore gave up the puck at mid-ice.

Malkin and Roberts also scored late in the third period, after it was clear there would be no Senators comeback.

Ottawa — already without key injured regulars Daniel Alfredsson, Mike Fisher and Chris Kelly — played most of the final two periods without defenceman Anton Volchenkov, who laid on the ice for several minutes after being cut in the forehead by Malkin's slap shot midway through the second.

Play was stopped briefly to clean up a small pool of blood on the ice, but Volchenkov got up on his own and may have been saved from a more serious injury by his protective visor.

Notes: With the Penguins nearly at full strength for the first time in months, D Darryl Sydor was scratched ... Pittsburgh won Game 1 of a playoff series at home for the first time since a 4-3 win over the Rangers in the 1996 Eastern Conference semifinals ... Ottawa is 3-9-1 without Alfredsson this season.... Gerber, who backed up Ray Emery as Ottawa reached the Stanley Cup final last season, made 31 saves.

scoring summary
1st Period
01:08
PIT
Gary Roberts (1) ASST: Georges Laraque (1), Maxime Talbot (1)
1 - 0 PIT
12:28
PIT
Petr Sykora (1) ASST: Evgeni Malkin (1)
2 - 0 PIT
2nd Period
NONE
3rd Period
13:58
PIT
Evgeni Malkin (1) ASST: Ryan Whitney (1), Ryan Malone (1)
3 - 0 PIT
18:25
PIT
PPG - Gary Roberts (2) ASST: Evgeni Malkin (2), Marian Hossa (1)
4 - 0 PIT
penalty summary
1st Period
04:25
PIT
Jordan Staal  Holding against  Antoine Vermette
14:39
OTT
Christoph Schubert  Holding against  Georges Laraque
2nd Period
06:51
OTT
Cody Bass  Hooking against  Kris Letang
09:37
OTT
Andrej Meszaros  Interference against  Jarkko Ruutu
14:56
PIT
Ryan Whitney  Holding against  Nick Foligno
15:59
OTT
Martin Lapointe  Roughing against  Marc-Andre Fleury
15:59
PIT
Maxime Talbot  Roughing against  Martin Lapointe
15:59
PIT
Maxime Talbot  Roughing against  Martin Lapointe
19:29
PIT
Ryan Malone  Holding against  Jason Spezza
3rd Period
00:38
PIT
Jordan Staal  Hi-sticking against  Andrej Meszaros
05:40
OTT
Brian Lee  Roughing against  Tyler Kennedy
05:40
PIT
Tyler Kennedy  Roughing against  Brian Lee
07:04
OTT
Wade Redden  Tripping against  Evgeni Malkin
11:04
PIT
Pascal Dupuis  Hooking against  Cory Stillman
16:35
OTT
Wade Redden  Roughing against  Ryan Whitney
16:35
OTT
Wade Redden  Fighting against  Ryan Whitney
16:35
PIT
Pascal Dupuis  Roughing against  Dean McAmmond
16:35
PIT
Pascal Dupuis  Roughing against  Dean McAmmond
16:35
OTT
Dean McAmmond  Roughing against  Pascal Dupuis
16:35
PIT
Ryan Whitney  Fighting against  Wade Redden
16:35
PIT
Sidney Crosby  Roughing against  Wade Redden
16:35
OTT
Wade Redden  Roughing against  Ryan Whitney
16:35
OTT
Dean McAmmond  Roughing against  Pascal Dupuis
19:48
PIT
Gary Roberts  Boarding against  Chris Neil
19:48
OTT
Chris Neil  Unsportsmanlike conduct
19:48
PIT
Gary Roberts  Unsportsmanlike conduct
19:48
PIT
Gary Roberts  Misconduct
19:48
OTT
Cody Bass  Unsportsmanlike conduct
19:48
PIT
Gary Roberts  Roughing against  Chris Neil
goalie stats
Martin Gerber
SA: 35TOI: 59:55
Saves: 31EV: 21 - 24
PIM: 0PP: 10 - 11
SV%: .886SH: 0 - 0
Marc-Andre Fleury
Marc-Andre Fleury
SA: 26TOI: 60:00
Saves: 26EV: 14 - 14
PIM: 0PP: 10 - 10
SV%: 1.000SH: 2 - 2