The Pittsburgh Penguins will try to extend their lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals, as they host the Ottawa Senators in Friday's Game 2 at CONSOL Energy Center.
The top-seeded Penguins breezed to victory in the opener of this best-of-seven series on Tuesday, claiming a 4-1 decision over the visiting Senators. On Friday, Pittsburgh will try to improve to 4-1 on home ice in this postseason and grab a 2-0 lead in the series before it shifts to Ottawa for Games 3 and 4.
Evgeni Malkin paced Pittsburgh's offense in the opener, as he continued his stellar postseason play with a goal and an assist. Malkin registered at least one point in all six games of Pittsburgh's first-round victory over the New York Islanders and added two more in the Game 1 triumph to push his point total to 13 (3G, 10A). Only Boston's David Krejci has more points this postseason with 14 on five goals and nine assists.
Meanwhile, Tomas Vokoun recorded his third straight victory since replacing Marc-Andre Fleury prior to Game 5 against the Isles. The veteran netminder made 35 saves Tuesday and has turned away 101-of-105 shots since taking over between the pipes.
"Vokoun, since he's come in, he's been great," Pittsburgh forward Jarome Iginla said. "You can tell he's feeling good, and I think it's definitely a good situation to have as a team when you have two confident goaltenders like we have."
Chris Kunitz also notched a goal and an assist, with Paul Martin and Pascal Dupuis potting the other goals for the Penguins, who finished 2-for-4 on the power play and added a short-handed goal in the victory.
Dupuis has six goals in seven playoff games this spring, tying him with Chicago's Patrick Sharp for the postseason lead.
"I think he's always had the speed and strength, but he's going to a lot of tough areas and he's getting opportunities to put it in the back of the net," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said of Dupuis.
The seventh-seeded Senators, who beat Montreal in five games during the opening round, fell to 2-2 on the road in the 2013 playoffs after dropping Game 1 in Pittsburgh.
Colin Greening scored the lone Ottawa goal, while Craig Anderson was tagged for all four goals on 30 shots for the Senators, who failed to score on all five of their power-play opportunities.
"The difference of the game is obviously the execution of their power play," Ottawa coach Paul MacLean lamented. "And giving up a shorthanded goal accentuates our special-teams play much more."
Ottawa hit on 6-of-25 chances with the man advantage in Round 1 against Montreal.
On the injury front, Senators defenseman Eric Gryba is questionable for Game 2 after taking a hard hit from Pittsburgh's Brooks Orpik in the opener.
Jason Spezza is nearing a return from back surgery, but Ottawa's top centerman has been ruled out for Friday's game. Spezza hasn't played since the fifth game of the season, but he could be ready to jump back on the ice when the series heads to Canada's capital city.
The Senators will host Game 3 on Sunday.
This is the fourth all-time playoff series between the clubs. Ottawa won the first encounter in the 2007 conference quarterfinals, before Pittsburgh ousted the Sens from the first round in 2008 and 2010.
The Penguins won all three meetings with Ottawa during the regular season.