NHL playoffs: Ottawa, Chicago win series
Montreal • Craig Anderson made 33 saves and Cory Conacher scored twice on a shaky Peter Budaj as the Ottawa Senators advanced to the second round of the playoffs Thursday night with a 6-1 rout of the Montreal Canadiens.
Ottawa took the best-of-seven 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 the Anaheim Ducks.
The victory gives Ottawa time to rest up and heal bruises from the physical series before the conference semifinals begin next week.
Zack Smith, Kyle Turris, Daniel Alfredsson and Erik Condra also scored for Ottawa, underdogs as the seventh seed in the East, but bolstered down the stretch by the return of top players on defense Erik Karlsson and Jared Cowan.
P.K. Subban scored for injury-struck Montreal, which failed to solve Anderson.
Blackhawks 5, Wild 1 • Marian Hossa scored twice to back a strong effort by goalie Corey Crawford, and Chicago beat Minnesota to win its first-round playoff series 4-1.
Chicago is moving on in the postseason for the first time since the championship run in 2010, and will face either San Jose or Detroit if the Red Wings get past Anaheim.
The way the Blackhawks have dominated, anything less than a trip to the Stanley Cup finals would be a disappointment for them.
They got off to a record start and captured the Presidents' Trophy for finishing with more points than any other team.
Now, they're eyeing the biggest prize of all. And after bowing out in the first round the past two years, they sure are looking good.
Penguins 4, Islanders 0 • In Pittsburgh, Tomas Vokoun stopped 31 shots in his first playoff start in six years and Pittsburgh beat the New York Islanders in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series.
Sidney Crosby, Tyler Kennedy and Douglas Murray scored during a seven-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 series 3-2. Game 6 is Saturday.
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