|PIT||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||3|
|OTT||0||0||0||(null - null)||1|
OTTAWA - Evgeni Malkin and Jarko Ruutu scored second-period goals, leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night to complete a four-game sweep of their first-round series.
Sidney Crosby scored into an empty net with 7.5 seconds remaining and had an assist, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 21 saves for Pittsburgh, which got its first sweep in 16 years and its first playoff series win since 2001.
Cory Stillman scored for Ottawa, which was swept out of the first round for the third time in its 11 consecutive playoff appearances.
The sweep was a measure of revenge for the young Penguins, who were knocked out of last year's playoffs in five games by the Senators. Ottawa went on to make its first Stanley Cup final appearance in modern franchise history, losing in five to Anaheim.
The Penguins also became the first team to advance to the second round. Pittsburgh will face Boston, if the Bruins overcome their 3-1 series deficit against Montreal to advance, or the winner of the New Jersey-New York Rangers series.
Malkin scored his second goal of the playoffs 1:40 into the second. The 21-year-old Russian opened the scoring during the Penguins' second power-play opportunity as he flicked his own rebound past Martin Gerber with a one-handed backhand on a setup by Crosby.
Stillman brought the sold-out Scotiabank Place crowd of 19,954 to life midway through the period when he tied it at 1-1. He pushed a loose puck at the right edge of the crease slowly into the goal at 10:31 for his second goal of the playoffs.
Ruutu restored Pittsburgh's lead for good at 15:28 with a sensational individual effort after he was sent in on Gerber by Tyler Kennedy.
With Senators defenceman Brian Lee in pursuit, Ruutu drove the net and stopped with a turn to the left as he spun around to avoid Lee, beating Gerber with a hard backhand along the ice and between the Ottawa goalie's pads.
An apparent tying goal by Ottawa's Antoine Vermette late in the second was reviewed and disallowed because he kicked it in with his right foot.
Pittsburgh, which had lost its last three playoff series since a second-round win over Buffalo in 2001, hadn't swept since consecutive sweeps of Boston and Chicago on its way to its second straight Stanley Cup in 1992.
The Senators got off to an NHL record 15-2 start, then struggled through the rest of the regular season, barely hanging on to one of the final playoff berth in the East after general manager Bryan Murray fired head coach John Paddock to move back behind the bench himself.
Notes: Penguins LW Gary Roberts missed his second straight game because of a groin injury. It was the Penguins' third sweep of a best-of-seven first-round series. Pittsburgh swept Oakland in its first playoff appearance in 1970, and beat the New York Rangers four straight to begin the 1989 playoffs. The Penguins also swept a best-of-three preliminary series against St. Louis to begin the 1975 playoffs. The Senators were also swept in the first round by Buffalo in 1999 and Toronto in 2001.
|PPG - Evgeni Malkin (2) ASST: Sidney Crosby (6), Sergei Gonchar (1)|
1 - 0 PIT
|Cory Stillman (2) ASST: Wade Redden (1), Anton Volchenkov (1)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Jarkko Ruutu (1) ASST: Tyler Kennedy (2)|
2 - 1 PIT
|EN - Sidney Crosby (2) ASST: NONE|
3 - 1 PIT
|Andrej Meszaros Interference against Max Talbot|
|Christoph Schubert Roughing against Adam Hall|
|Adam Hall Roughing against Christoph Schubert|
|Dany Heatley Slashing against Ryan Malone|
|Ryan Malone Hooking against Chris Neil|
|Nick Foligno Boarding against Ryan Whitney|
|Christoph Schubert Slashing against Hal Gill|
|Rob Scuderi Tripping against Jason Spezza|
|SA: 22||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 21||EV: 17 - 18|
|PIM: 0||PP: 1 - 1|
|SV%: .955||SH: 3 - 3|
|SA: 33||TOI: 58:50|
|Saves: 31||EV: 19 - 20|
|PIM: 0||PP: 10 - 11|
|SV%: .939||SH: 2 - 2|