PITTSBURGH — Goaltender Matt Murray picked up his second career post-season shutout as the Pittsburgh Penguins thrashed Ottawa 7-0 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final Sunday, pushing the Senators to the brink of elimination
Pittsburgh leads the series 3-2 and can clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup final as soon as Game 6 Tuesday in Ottawa.
Murray, making his second start after being injured most of the post-season, made 25 saves.
His Ottawa counterpart, Craig Anderson, got pulled twice and stopped just four of 14 shots.
Sidney Crosby, Bryan Rust and Phil Kessel each had a goal and an assist, and Carter Rowney and Evgeni Malkin each added three assists for Pittsburgh, which became the first team to win two straight games in the series.
Adding injury to insult, Ottawa played the third period without captain and team leading post-season scorer Erik Karlsson, centre Derrick Brassard and defenceman Cody Ceci. There was no immediate update on their status.
Olli Maatta, who surprised with his first career playoff goal in Game 4, struck again for a 1-0 Pittsburgh lead at 8:14 of the first.
Maatta sent a slap shot off of a feed from Rust past Anderson’s blocker from above the left circle.
Malkin got the secondary assist, his playoffs-leading 21st point. That made Malkin the 29th player in NHL history with 150 career playoff points and tied him with Mario Lemieux for second on Pittsburgh’s career post-season assist list with 96.
The Penguins scored a power-play goal for the third game in a row — after starting the series 0 for 6 — when Crosby tipped a shot by Daley off of Anderson’s right arm at 12:03 of the first to make it 2-0.
At 16:04, a Nick Bonino shot glanced in off of Rust’s leg for a 3-0 lead.
That chased Anderson, whose 36th birthday started — but did not end — with him allowing three goals on 13 shots. He was replaced by Mike Condon.
However, Ottawa coach Guy Boucher put Anderson back in for Condon after just 1:28 on the bench. He gave up another goal before the end of the first.
Scott Wilson scored from a sharp angle at 18:17 for a 4-0 Pittsburgh lead.
Condon was in net for the start of the second, and he was greeted by Matt Cullen’s tip-in of a pass from Mark Streit at 1:54 for a 5-0 Penguins lead.
Kessel had a tap-in from Crosby at the left post for a power-play goal and a 6-0 lead 50 second into the third. Malkin got another secondary assist for 22 points.
Crosby’s assist made him the 22nd player in NHL history to reach 100 in post-season play.
Daley scored Pittsburgh’s third power-play goal at 8:40 of the third for a 7-0 lead.