Stanley Cup playoffs three stars: Penguins land first punch on Capitals behind Crosby, Fleury


Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins got the better of the Washington Capitals, while the Ottawa Senators won in the NHL playoffs.

Crosby scored twice 52 seconds apart and Marc-Andre Fleury made 33 saves as the Penguins claimed a 3-2 win over the Capitals in their series opener on Thursday.

But it was a goal by Nick Bonino, who crushed the Capitals' dreams with a game six overtime winner that sent the Penguins through to the conference finals a year ago, that proved decisive.

Meanwhile, the Senators went 1-0 up on the New York Rangers courtesy of a 2-1 win.

Three stars

Marc-Andre Fleury, Penguins - Fleury was at his best in the final minutes when the Capitals threw a flurry of shots in a frenzied attempt to force overtime. After assuming the starter's net for Matt Murray, the 32-year-old has stopped a whopping 214 shots in six starts.

Craig Anderson, Senators - Anderson got the better of Rangers counterpart Henrik Lundqvist in Ottawa's victory. Though Lundqvist faced 43 shots, Anderson gave up one fewer goal on 35 shots and that was the difference.

Sidney Crosby, Penguins - Alex Ovechkin may have more head-to-head points, but a reminder: Crosby's Penguins are 9-5 in the playoffs against the Caps.


Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson extended what has been a remarkable playoff run by netting the game-winning goal with four minutes, 11 seconds remaining to take a one-game lead over the Rangers. Karlsson, playing through multiple fractures in his foot, skated 29 minutes - more than any player on either team - for his first goal and seventh point of the postseason.

Friday's game to watch

Game two: Oilers at Ducks - This series will be required viewing if game one is any indication. Tied 1-1 after 40 minutes of drudgery, the Ducks and Oilers exploded for six goals in the third period. Leon Draisaitl and Adam Larsson went nuts, but Anaheim did manage to keep Connor McDavid mostly in check as Edmonton took a 1-0 series lead.