Pittsburgh drops Ottawa in Game 1

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Ottawa's Chris Neil (25)  battles Pittsburgh's Brooks Orpik (44) in front of Pittsburgh goalie Tomas Vokoun on Tuesday night.  GENE J. PUSKAR/ASSOCIATED PRESS
GENE J. PUSKAR/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Ottawa's Chris Neil (25) battles Pittsburgh's Brooks Orpik (44) in front of Pittsburgh goalie Tomas Vokoun on Tuesday night.

PITTSBURGH — Paul Martin and Chris Kunitz scored power-play goals and Pascal Dupuis added his sixth goal of the playoffs and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Ottawa Senators 4-1 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Tuesday.

Evgeni Malkin extended his points streak to seven games with a goal and an assist for Pittsburgh.

Game 2 is Friday night.

Tomas Vokoun stopped 35 shots to win his third straight start and top-seeded Pittsburgh never trailed.

Colin Greening scored for the Senators. Craig Anderson made 26 saves but Ottawa had no answer for Pittsburgh’s power play.

The Penguins are 9 of 24 with the man advantage through seven playoff games, best of the eight teams remaining in the postseason.

The Senators had the NHL’s best penalty kill during the regular season and turned aside 16 of 19 penalties against Montreal in the first round.

Pittsburgh was pushed to six games by the New York Islanders during a spirited first-round series in which the youthful Islanders had the Penguins on their heels at times.

Still, Pittsburgh advanced to the conference semifinals for the first time in three years behind the power play and a gutsy move by coach Dan Bylsma to bench top goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and replace him with Vokoun.

The 36-year-old Vokoun made his 713th NHL start on Tuesday, but his first with the stakes this big. Despite admitting to some butterflies when told he would get the starting assignment for Game 1, Vokoun overcame some shaky moments early to settle down.

STARS: Dallas fired coach Glen Gulutzan, an expected move by new general manager Jim Nill for a franchise that has missed the playoffs a record five straight seasons.

Gulutzan’s dismissal came about two weeks after Nill replaced Joe Nieuwendyk, who was fired after four seasons.

The 41-year-old Gulutzan had the Stars in playoff contention both seasons, but Dallas faltered down the stretch each time.

The Stars were 64-57-9 under Gulutzan, including 22-22-4 in the lockout-shortened 2013 season.


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