The Penguins did most of their damage on the power play, netting two goals with the man advantage to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
Paul Martin, Chris Kunitz, Evgeni Malkin and Pascal Dupuis scored for Pittsburgh, who were in control of the game from start to finish at the Consol Energy Center.
Ottawa coach Paul MacLean admitted the Sens must play better and added that special teams cost them dearly.
“We only took three minor penalties and they took advantage of two of them,” he said. “On paper it’s pretty easy, two power play goals and one short-handed and they win by three.
“Overall I think we did get better as the game wore on but we are going to have to be better than we were tonight to win some games.”
Martin opened the scoring for the Penguins 2:41 into the game when his point shot hit an Ottawa defenceman and slipped past Craig Anderson.
Ottawa fought back and tied the game just over two minutes later when Colin Greening poked in a loose puck past Tomas Vokoun.
However, the Pens retook the lead at the 12:15 mark of the first period when Malkin tapped in from close range.
Kunitz doubled the home team’s advantage in the second period before Dupuis secured the win with a short-handed goal in the third period.
Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma was delighted with the performance and hailed his team’s depth.
“I love the way our team came out and played that game,” he said. “We’re not counting on just one guy to carry the load, we were able to do a lot of good things.”
The Pittsburgh Penguins will look to take a 2-0 lead in the series when they host the Ottawa Senators once again on Thursday night.