PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Penguins are one win away from a return trip to the Stanley Cup finals.

The defending champions pounced on the Ottawa Senators early in a 7-0 demolition in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday to take a 3-2 series lead. Sidney Crosby scored for a third consecutive game as part of a four-goal first period in which the Penguins twice chased goalie Craig Anderson.

Bryan Rust had a goal and an assist in his return from a concussion. Olli Maatta and Scott Wilson also beat Anderson in the first period. Matt Cullen scored his second of the playoffs, and Phil Kessel his seventh.

Matt Murray stopped 21 shots to win his second straight start following a six-week injury layoff.

Game 6 is Tuesday night in Ottawa.

Anderson was pulled briefly after the Penguins went up 3-0 in the first period and removed for good to start the second period. He stopped 10 of 14 shots on his 36th birthday.

The Penguins appeared to hit their stride during a 3-2 win in Ottawa on Friday night in Game 4, playing with the kind of speed and intensity that fueled their run to the team’s fourth Stanley Cup title last June. Still, they stressed the importance of finding a way to keep it going in a series that saw the teams alternate wins and losses through the first four games.

The momentum Pittsburgh generated did more than carry over. It crushed the Senators completely.

Rust watched Games 3 and 4 while recovering from a concussion suffered during an open-ice collision with Ottawa defenseman Dion Phaneuf in Game 2. Coach Mike Sullivan placed him on the third line with Nick Bonino and Carter Rowney, and the impact was immediate.

Rust set up Maatta’s opening goal by grabbing a loose puck in the Ottawa zone – a common occurrence during the Senators’ nightmarish first period – then dropping it to Maatta. The defenseman who scored just once during the regular season zipped home his second in two games, 8:14 into the first.

The Senators head back home on the brink of elimination for the first time in their postseason. They’re a little dinged up, too. Defenseman Erik Karlsson, playing with a pair of hairline fractures in his left heel, sat out the last 25 minutes after colliding with Wilson.