Sidney Crosby was careful not to get too far ahead of himself after helping the Pittsburgh Penguins rout the Ottawa Senators for a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
"I'm not talking about anything ahead of Game 5," the Pittsburgh captain said when asked about a potential Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Bruins.
But after the Penguins' 7-3 victory Wednesday night in Ottawa, it's hard to imagine Crosby and his teammates aren't starting to think about facing the Bruins -- up 3-0 over the New York Rangers.
Jarome Iginla and James Neal each scored twice, Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis added goals, and Tomas Vokoun made 30 saves. Down 2-1 after the first period, the Penguins scored twice in a 40-second span early in the second and added four goals in the first 10 minutes in the third.
Milan Michalek, Kyle Turris and Daniel Alfredsson scored for Ottawa. Senators goalie Craig Anderson was benched after Pittsburgh's sixth goal, and Robin Lehner finished the game.
"There was a sense like, 'OK, this might take as many shots as we can muster to break this guy.' And fortunately, we kept on that mindset," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "It was a matter of, 'We are going to have to fire anything and everything we can at this guy to get one by him.' "
Game 5 is Friday night in Pittsburgh.
"I know what we're going to do," Alfredsson said. "We're going to go out and play one hell of a game. That doesn't worry me at all. We never quit and that's not going to stop now"
Canucks: Vancouver fired coach Alain Vigneault and assistants Rick Bowness and Newell Brown.
Vigneault, the Canucks' all-time leader in coaching wins, led the club to six Northwest Division titles, two Presidents' Trophy titles and an appearance in the 2011 Stanley Cup finals.
But Vancouver was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in the past two seasons, including getting swept by the Sharks this year.
Vigneault has a 313-170-57 record over seven seasons in Vancouver, and a 33-32 record in the playoffs.
Sutton retires: Veteran defenseman Andy Sutton, 38, has retired, ending a 15-year career beset by injuries. Sutton played in 676 NHL games, most recently with Edmonton in 2011-12. He also suited up for the Sharks (1998-00), Minnesota, Atlanta, the New York Islanders, Ottawa and Anaheim.