PITTSBURGH – Pascal Dupuis scored twice, Marc-Andre Fleury made 26 saves, and the top-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins opened the playoffs with a 5-0 romp over the New York Islanders on Wednesday night.
Beau Bennett, Kris Letang and Tanner Glass also scored for the Penguins, who had no trouble against the upstart Islanders even with star Sidney Crosby sidelined by a broken jaw. Pittsburgh hardly needed its captain to continue its mastery of the Islanders, who made their first playoff appearance since 2007.
Fleury earned his sixth career playoff shutout.
The Penguins, the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, beat Evgeni Nabokov four times in the game’s first 22 minutes, including goals by Letang and Dupuis 32 seconds apart early in the second period to send Nabokov to the bench after he stopped just 11 shots.
Kevin Poulin came on in relief and surrendered a soft goal to Glass.
Game 2 is Friday in Pittsburgh.
The Penguins hoped to have Crosby back for the first time since he was struck in the face by a puck on March 30 in a game against the Islanders. Doctors, however, declined to clear him, feeling his jaw wasn’t healed enough for contact.
Considering the way his teammates picked up the slack on the first night of what the Penguins hope is a two-month march to the Stanley Cup, there is no need to rush Crosby back.
Pittsburgh rolled to the top of the East even though Crosby missed the final quarter of the season. The Penguins were bolstered by the arrival of trade-deadline acquisitions Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow, Jussi Jokinen and Doug Murray.
All four are searching for their first Cup title, and all four made an impact in the series opener. Iginla and Jokinen both had two assists, and Morrow and Murray helped bottle up New York’s quickly improving offense.
BRUINS 4, MAPLE LEAFS 1: In Boston, Nathan Horton scored the go-ahead goal late in the first period and Boston’s revived offense carried it in the team’s playoff opener.
The Bruins scored more than three goals for the first time in 10 games. They closed the regular season on a 2-7 skid that dropped them to the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.
That set up a first-round matchup with fifth-seeded Toronto, the first time the teams have met in the postseason since 1974. The Maple Leafs, who are in the playoffs for the first time since 2004, lost four of their last six regular-season games. Game 2 is Saturday night in Boston, where the Bruins have won six straight against the Maple Leafs.