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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 by 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 of 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.
Game 5 is this Friday night and the best USA sportsbooks have the Pens as the favorites to bring the series to an end.
The Senators, coming off a double-overtime victory Sunday night in Game 3, opened the scoring on Michalek’s short-handed goal at 2 minutes 29 seconds of the first period. With defenseman Sergei Gonchar in the penalty box, 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.
It was the Senators’ first lead of the series. It would not last.
Neal tied the score with 5:04 left in the period, picking up the loose puck in the slot 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 the score 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 for his 100th career playoff point.