OTTAWA, Ontario — Marc Methot, Derick Brassard and Zack Smith scored in a 2:18 span midway through the first period to chase goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, and the Ottawa Senators beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 on Wednesday night to take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

Mike Hoffman opened the scoring 48 seconds in, and the Senators blew it open against the sluggish Penguins a few minutes later. Kyle Turris made it 5-0 late in the second period.

Sidney Crosby ended Craig Anderson’s shutout bid with a power-play goal in the third.

Anderson finished with 25 saves. Fleury allowed four goals on nine shots, and Matthew Murray made 19 saves in relief.

Game 4 is Friday night in Ottawa.


WILD: Minnesota owner Craig Leipold said he’s “happily surprised” by the excitement generated in Nashville by the Predators, the club he helped enter the NHL nearly 20 years ago.

Leipold said seeing the support in a nontraditional market for the Predators has been “pretty cool to watch.”

When asked whether he was jealous of Nashville’s success, in light of the division rival Wild’s elimination in the first round, Leipold said he was simply envious of all four teams still alive in the playoffs.

The Predators lead the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 in the Western Conference finals. They’re unbeaten at home in the postseason.

Leipold sold his stake in the Predators in 2007. He bought the Wild in 2008.

PREDATORS: Nashville signed defenseman Andrew O’Brien to a one-year, two-way contract for the 2017-18 season.

O’Brien’s deal will be worth $650,000 at the NHL level and $62,500 at the American Hockey League level.

The Predators acquired the 6-foot-4 O’Brien from the Anaheim Ducks on Jan. 19.