Penguins rout Senators

OTTAWA — James Neal had two goals and an assist as the Penguins routed the Senators 7-3 Wednesday to take a 3-1 lead in the East semifinal series. Pittsburgh can close out the series Friday at home.

The goals were the first of the series for Neal, who scored 20 during the regular season, and the three points doubled his total for the entire playoffs.

Down 2-1, the Penguins scored twice in a 40-second span early in the second and added four goals over the first 10 minutes of the third. They outshot the Senators 42-33.

Ottawa's Craig Anderson stopped 15 of 16 shots in the first. But he succumbed to the onslaught, allowing five goals on 22 shots from there before being pulled after it became 6-2 8:39 into the third.

"We came out, got a lot of shots. He made some key saves," said Pittsburgh's Kris Letang, who had four assists. "But we kept going, and we put the puck at his feet and tried to get to the rebound. And it actually worked."

Ottawa coach Paul MacLean's news conference lasted 13 seconds.

"I think everything's right here," he said, holding up the scoresheet. "It's 7-3. See you in Pittsburgh. We're going to Pittsburgh, and we're coming to play. Have a good night."

Fehr talks fighting

Union president Donald Fehr has talked to players and agents to discuss the state of fighting in the game, Canada's CBC radio reported.

"Nothing concrete has been announced to us, but I felt that Fehr was motivated by a genuine desire to address the issue," agent Bob Sauve said.

Gilles Lupien, a defenseman in the NHL from 1977-82, also attended the agents meetings with Fehr, the former head of the baseball players union.

"Fehr told us he was trying to understand the dynamics of fights," he said. "He was struggling to understand how an athlete can get to defeat another or to injure him in the course of a game."

Canucks fire coach: Vancouver fired Alain Vigneault, its all-time leader in coaching wins. Over seven seasons, he led the Canucks to six division titles, two Presidents' Trophy titles and the 2011 Cup final, when they lost Game 7 to the Bruins. But Vancouver was eliminated in the first round in the past two seasons, including a sweep this year.

Draft: Valeri Nichushkin, the No. 2 European prospect, said he will play in the NHL in 2013-14. The wing, 18, plays for Dynamo of Russia's KHL but said, "I was told I could leave if I want."

Penguins 1 2 4 7
Senators 2 0 1 3
Penguins 1 2 4 7
Senators 2 0 1 3

First Period1, Ottawa, Michalek 2 (Alfredsson, Benoit), 2:29 (sh). 2, Pittsburgh, Neal 2, 14:56. 3, Ottawa, Turris 5 (Silfverberg, Karlsson), 16:15. PenaltiesGonchar, Ott (interference), 1:12; Greening, Ott (interference), 5:57.

Second Period4, Pittsburgh, Kunitz 4 (Pa.Dupuis, Letang), 1:08. 5, Pittsburgh, Iginla 3 (Letang, Neal), 1:48. PenaltiesCooke, Pit (slashing), 18:32.

Third Period6, Pittsburgh, Neal 3 (Crosby, Letang), 1:59 (pp). 7, Pittsburgh, Pa.Dupuis 7 (Cooke), 8:08 (sh). 8, Pittsburgh, Crosby 7 (Kennedy), 8:39. 9, Pittsburgh, Iginla 4 (Jokinen, Letang), 9:53 (pp). 10, Ottawa, Alfredsson 4 (Karlsson, Neil), 14:44 (pp). PenaltiesGonchar, Ott (high-sticking), 1:07; Niskanen, Pit (tripping), 6:21; Neil, Ott (slashing), 9:01; Martin, Pit (slashing), 13:12; Jokinen, Pit (slashing), 15:25; Alfredsson, Ott (holding), 15:29. Shots on GoalPittsburgh 16-13-13—42. Ottawa 11-11-11—33. Power-play opportunitiesPittsburgh 2 of 5; Ottawa 1 of 4. GoaliesPittsburgh, Vokoun 5-1-0 (33 shots-30 saves). Ottawa, Anderson 5-3-0 (38-32), Lehner (8:39 third, 4-3).

Penguins rout Senators 05/22/13 [Last modified: Thursday, May 23, 2013 1:15am]

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