Penguins Down Maple Leafs to Open Series
TORONTO – Dan Kesa scored a power-play goal in the first period and Tom Barrasso needed to make only 20 saves as the Pittsburgh Penguins won their second-round playoff opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs, 2-0 Friday night.
Game 2 in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference semifinal is Sunday night.
League scoring champion Jaromir Jagr, struggling with a strained right thigh muscle, played at half speed. But with his teammates checking Toronto to a standstill, goals from Jagr were not needed.
Pittsburgh managed only 18 shots on Curtis Joseph.
German Titov added an empty-net goal with 23 seconds left.
Kesa, a defenseman, scored on his first shot of the 1999 playoffs. Joseph had no chance to stop the power-play slap shot as teammate Mats Sundin inadvertently bumped into him and knocked him to the ice as Kesa wound up.
It was the first career playoff point for Kesa, 27, a Vancouver native in his first NHL playoffs after playing in the minors most of his career.
The Penguins would have scored more had Joseph not been at his best. He made a diving save of a shot by Jagr before Kesa's goal, and five minutes into the second period made another acrobatic move to rob Kip Miller.
The shots were even 13-13 after two periods, but Barrasso generally had an easier time than Joseph.
Barrasso's shutout was his first in the playoffs in three years and his sixth in 108 career playoff games.
© Copyright 1999 The Associated Press