Pittsburgh romps to open 3-1 lead

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Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby (right) looks to pass as Ottawa goalie Craig Andersonis caught behind the net and Marc Methot tries to knock the puck away Wednesday.  FRED CHARTRAND/ASSOCIATED PRESS
FRED CHARTRAND/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby (right) looks to pass as Ottawa goalie Craig Andersonis caught behind the net and Marc Methot tries to knock the puck away Wednesday.

OTTAWA — Jarome Iginla and James Neal each scored twice and the Pittsburgh Penguins routed the Ottawa Senators 7-3 on Wednesday night to take a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis also scored for Pittsburgh, and Tomas Vokoun made 30 saves. Down 2-1 after the first period, the Penguins scored twice in a 40-second span early in the second and added four goals in the first 10 minutes in the third.

Milan Michalek, Kyle Turris and Daniel Alfredsson scored for Ottawa. Senators goalie Craig Anderson was benched after Pitts­burgh’s sixth goal, and Robin Lehner finished the game.

The Senators opened the scoring on Michalek’s short-handed goal at 2:29 of the first period. Alfredsson fed the puck up the middle to a streaking Michalek, who broke through the defense and beat Vokoun low on the glove side for Ottawa’s second short-handed goal of the series.

Neal tied it with 5:04 left in the period, picking up the loose puck and putting it in the back of the net. Turris put Ottawa back in front off a rebound with 3:45 left in the first.

Pittsburgh tied it early in the second when Kunitz got behind the defense and went in alone to beat Anderson. Less than a minute later, Anderson gave up a rebound on Kris Letang’s shot that landed on the tape of Iginla’s stick to make it 3-2.

Neal started the third-period flurry with a power-play goal at 1:59. Dupuis added a short-handed goal at 8:07, Crosby followed at 8:39, and Iginla scored on a power play at 9:53. Alfredsson finished the scoring with a late power-play goal.

CANUCKS: Fired coach Alain Vigneault on Wednesday. They also fired assistants Rick Bowness and Newell Brown.

Vigneault, the Canucks’ all-time leader in coaching wins, led the club to six Northwest Division titles, two Presidents’ Trophy titles and a 2011 Stanley Cup final appearance.

But Vancouver was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in the past two seasons.

It was the first time in 12 years that the Canucks were swept in the postseason.

Vigneault has a 313-170-57 record over seven seasons in Vancouver, and a 33-32 record in the playoffs.


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