TOMAS VOKOUN stopped 31 shots in his first playoff start in 6 years and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the visiting New York Islanders, 4-0, last night in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series.
Sidney Crosby, Tyler Kennedy and Douglas Murray scored during a 7-minute stretch in the second period, and Kris Letang added a power-play goal in the third as Pittsburgh moved a step closer to advancing to the second round.
The Penguins lead the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series, 3-2. Game 6 is tomorrow in New York.
Evgeni Nabokov made 23 saves for the Islanders, but also gave up breakaway goals to Crosby and Kennedy and botched a lazy wrist shot from Murray that gave the Penguins all the offense they would need.
Vokoun was thrust into the lineup after Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma benched Marc-Andre Fleury, who had started 79 straight postseason games, but struggled in a 6-4 loss in Game 4.
The 36-year-old Vokoun didn't look intimidated by the stage as the Penguins dominated the eighth-seeded Islanders.
At Montreal, Craig Anderson made 33 saves and Cory Conacher scored twice as the Ottawa Senators advanced to the second round of the playoffs with a 6-1 rout of the Canadiens.
Ottawa took the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series, 4-1, and put a punctuation mark on its dominance in moving on for the first time since 2007, when the Senators lost in the Stanley Cup finals to Anaheim.
Buffalo fired assistant coaches James Patrick and Kevyn Adams in the first moves made by newly promoted head coach Ron Rolston.
The changes come 2 days after Rolston took over the job on a permanent basis. He closed the season going 15-11-5 as the team's interim coach in replacing Lindy Ruff, who was fired in February.
* Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby, Washington right wing Alex Ovechkin and Tampa Bay right wing Martin St. Louis have been nominated as finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award.
The award is presented annually to the most outstanding player in the NHL as voted by fellow members of the NHL Players' Association. Crosby, Ovechkin and St. Louis have all previously won the award. This year's winner will be announced during the Stanley Cup final.
* San Jose will begin the second round of the playoffs somewhat shorthanded after losing forward Adam Burish to an undisclosed upper-body injury.
Burish got hurt during the team's 4-3 overtime win over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night that wrapped up the first playoff sweep in franchise history. Burish did not return to that game after his right hand was slashed by Vancouver's Alexander Edler late in the second period.
* Toronto defenseman Mark Fraser had surgery to repair a broken bone after being hit in the face with a puck during Boston's 4-3 victory over the Maple Leafs in Game 4 of their first-round playoff Eastern Conference series on Wednesday night.
Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said Fraser was resting at home and was texting and talking to his teammates.
The Bruins can advance to the semifinals with a victory in Game 5 tonight in Boston.