The Ottawa Senators and the Chicago Blackhawks advanced to the second round of the National Hockey League playoffs, while the Pittsburgh Penguins moved within one game of reaching the conference semifinals.
The Senators beat the Montreal Canadiens 6-1 and the Blackhawks defeated the Minnesota Wild 5-1 last night. Ottawa and Chicago both won their best-of-seven series by four games to one, while the Penguins took a three games to two lead over the New York Islanders with a 4-0 win.
Tonight in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Bruins will seal a 4-1 series win with a victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs; and the New York Rangers visit the Washington Capitals with their series tied at two games apiece.
In the West, the Anaheim Ducks can eliminate the Detroit Red Wings with a win and the St. Louis Blues need a victory against the Los Angeles Kings to remain in the series.
Cory Conacher got two goals and Zack Smith, Kyle Turris, Daniel Alfredsson and Erik Condra also scored for the Senators at Bell Centre in Montreal.
At United Center in Chicago, Marian Hossa’s two goals and scores by Marcus Kruger and Andrew Shaw gave the Blackhawks a 4-1 second-period lead. Patrick Sharp scored on a power play in the final period.
At the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Sidney Crosby, Tyler Kennedy and Douglas Murray scored in the second period and Kris Letang added a power-play goal in the third.
Tomas Vokoun stopped 31 shots in his first playoff start in six years and Evgeni Nabokov made 23 saves for the Islanders, who host Game 6 tomorrow.