(Monday, April 22nd)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 3, Ottawa 1
Ottawa, ON (Sports Network) - Tomas Vokoun made 34 saves to pick up career victory No. 300 as the Pittsburgh Penguins downed the playoff-hopeful Ottawa Senators, 3-1, at Scotiabank Place.
Dustin Jeffrey recorded a goal and an assist, while Jarome Iginla and Tyler Kennedy also lit the lamp for the Penguins, who already locked up the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and trail the Blackhawks in the Presidents' Trophy race by three points with three games to play.
Patrick Wiercioch scored Ottawa's goal while Craig Anderson stopped 21-of-24 shots for the Senators, who have dropped two straight on the heels of a promising four-game winning streak.
Ottawa is still tied with the New York Rangers for the final two playoff spots in the East with 52 points apiece, though they only lead the Winnipeg Jets by one point. Both the Jets and Rangers have a game in hand on Winnipeg.
Monday's meeting was the first between the teams since reigning Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson suffered a severe laceration to his left Achilles when he got clipped by the skate of Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke. Karlsson has not played since but is back on skates and may play in the Senators' final three games with their playoff fate still up in the air.
Despite Karlsson's quick recovery, Ottawa clearly had revenge on its mind and began playing physical after Pittsburgh took an early 2-0 lead.
Brenden Morrow set up both goals in the opening period, first feeding Jeffrey for a one-timer between the circles 6:15 into the game, then finding Iginla with a terrific pass from behind the net at the 10:28 mark.
A fight between Pittsburgh's Robert Bortuzzo and Ottawa's Zack Smith in the final seconds of the first stanza ended with Penguins enforcer Steve MacIntyre being sent off with a game misconduct for getting involved with an engaged player.
That player happened to be Chris Neil, who sent Pascal Dupuis flying in the second period with an illegal check behind the net. Neil was hit with a charging penalty, one of eight called in the period.
"It seemed like the whole period was a special teams situation," Jeffrey said. "It gave our guys a great opportunity to work on it."
The hosts finally did some damage on the scoreboard in the third period. While on the power play, Daniel Alfredsson won a faceoff in the offensive zone, kicked the puck back to the point for Sergei Gonchar, who passed it over to Wiercioch for a successful one-timer with 12:42 to play.
Ottawa's comeback came undone with 2:34 remaining, however, when Cooke won a battle for a loose puck behind the net and passed out front to Kennedy, who snapped it behind Anderson to seal the win.
"They capitalized on a couple of opportunities, and that was the difference," Senators defenseman Marc Methot said.
With the win, Dan Bylsma became the fastest coach in NHL history to record 200 wins in his 316th game -- 10 faster than Bruce Boudreau ... Vokoun, making his 700th career appearance, is the 28th goalie in NHL history to reach 300 career wins ... The Penguins swept the three-game season series for the first time since the 1995-96 season ... Iginla has scored in three straight games ... Pittsburgh is 19-0-0 when leading after two periods ... The Penguins were playing without Sidney Crosby (broken jaw), James Neal (concussion), Paul Martin (hand surgery), Evgeni Malkin (upper body) and Kris Letang (illness) ... Ottawa has dropped two straight at home after starting the season 15-3-3 at Scotiabank Place ... Pittsburgh accounted for 12 of the 22 penalties in the game ... The Penguins host the Sabres Tuesday in a game rescheduled from Saturday ... Ottawa plays at Washington on Thursday.
04/23 00:34:26 ET