NHL: Penguins blank Tampa Bay

PITTSBURGH - Alex Kovalev and Arron Asham scored third-period goals 18 seconds apart and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 32 shots to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first-round playoff opener on Wednesday night.

Chris Kunitz sealed the win with an empty-net goal in the final minute in the Penguins' first postseason game in their new arena. Brooks Orpik had two assists.

Fleury earned his fifth playoff shutout, one short of tying Tom Barrasso's franchise record.

Capitals 2, Rangers 1, OT

WASHINGTON - Alexander Semin scored at 18:24 of overtime and Washington rallied for a win over the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference playoff series.

Semin took a centering pass from Jason Arnott, after the Rangers failed to clear the puck out of their end, and scored with a one-timer past Henrik Lundqvist.

New York defenseman Matt Gilroy broke a scoreless tie with a one-timer 1:56 into the third period, and Alex Ovechkin tied it during an intense poke-at-the-puck scramble at the crease with 6:16 left in regulation.

Michal Neuvirth made 24 saves to win his NHL playoff debut. Lundqvist stopped 31 shots.

Red Wings 4, Coyotes 2

DETROIT - Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen scored midway through the second period to put Detroit ahead, and the Red Wings went on to beat Phoenix in Game 1 of the Western Conference first-round playoff series.

Brian Rafalski and Jiri Hudler padded Detroit's lead late in the second period and early in the third.

Jimmy Howard made 26 saves for the third-seeded Red Wings.

Predators 4, Ducks 1

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Mike Fisher had two goals and an assist, Pekka Rinne made 27 saves, and Nashville clamped down defensively on high-flying Anaheim in a playoff series opening victory.

Steve Sullivan got his first goal since mid-December, and captain Shea Weber also scored for the fifth-seeded Predators, who got off to a great grinding start as they attempt to win a playoff series for the first time in six tries over seven seasons.

Teemu Selanne scored during a two-man advantage with 8:36 to play for the fourth-seeded Ducks, whose late-season offensive surge was no match for the imposing Rinne and Nashville's defensive style.

Game 2 is Friday at Anaheim.

Canucks 2, Blackhawks 0

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen scored in the first period, Roberto Luongo made 32 saves, and Vancouver beat Chicago in the playoff opener.

Corey Crawford made 31 saves in his first playoff start as Chicago opened its defense of the Stanley Cup with a loss.

The Canucks are the top seed in the Western Conference and the Presidents' Trophy winners, but the Blackhawks aren't the average No. 8 seed. Chicago knocked the Canucks out of the playoffs the previous two seasons and was formidable again in Game 1.


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