OTTAWA -- The Pittsburgh Penguins just keep on rolling.
Already having clinched first place in the Eastern Conference -- and with a depleted lineup -- they racked up their seventh consecutive victory by dumping the Ottawa Senators 3-1 Monday night in front of 20,276 fans at Scotiabank Place.
Tomas Vokoun made 34 saves for his 300th career win, while Craig Anderson stopped 21 shots in suffering his second straight defeat.
The Penguins, who are clinging to the fading hope of catching the Chicago Blackhawks for the top spot in the overall standings, were nowhere near as desperate for victory as their hosts.
The Senators, who are tied for seventh place, now have just a one-point cushion in their attempt to secure a playoff spot. Looming behind them are the ninth-place Winnipeg Jets, who have played one more game than Ottawa.
Dustin Jeffrey, Jarome Iginla and Tyler Kennedy scored the Pittsburgh goals. The Jeffrey and Iginla goals were 4:13 apart in the first period and both were set up by Brenden Morrow.
Defenseman Patrick Wiercioch scored his fifth of the season on the power play with 12:42 left in the third, but Kennedy snuffed out any chance of a comeback with 2:34 remaining.
Jeffrey's third of the season was a one-timer from the slot area that seemed to take some life out of the Senators. Iginla scored his 13th after taking a pass behind the net from Morrow, then stepping out to flip the puck high past Anderson.
Wiercioch was teed up for his point blast by former Penguin Sergei Gonchar with Morrow in the box.
Kennedy's goal was set up by Matt Cooke.
The Senators will be keeping an eye on the Jets-Capitals game in Washington on Tuesday. They visit the Caps on Thursday.
NOTES: Already without injured stars Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and James Neal, the Penguins made late scratches of top defenseman Kris Letang, who was ill, and No. 1 goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who stayed home for the impending arrival of his first child. ... Also out of the Pittsburgh lineup were defenseman Paul Martin and forwards Beau Bennett and Joe Vitale. ... The Penguins did dress mammoth tough guy Steve MacIntyre for the first time this season, presumably expecting the Senators would be looking to settle the score for a Feb. 13 incident which saw Matt Cooke's skate blade slice the Achilles tendon of Ottawa star Erik Karlsson. ... The Senators made scratches of their big enforcer, Matt Kassian, as well as defensemen Mike Lundin and Andre Benoit, as well as forwards Peter Regin and Jim O'Brien. ... Earlier in the day, the Ottawa chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association made Benoit, a 29-year-old playing his first full NHL season, the team's Masterton Trophy nominee. The award honors a player for perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication. ... Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma entered the night one win from 200 for his career. With the victory, Bylsma became the fastest to reach the mark in NHL history.