NHL Playoffs: Hoffman's goal helps Senators beat Penguins to force Game 7

“I just think with this group that Ive been with, our Game 7s have been pretty solid.For a deciding Game 7, however, Capitals coach Barry Trotz said his team can't expect momentum to carry over.

It means he wants his team to attack opponents with speed, aggression and a dash of responsibility.

Facing elimination, they did it once again in beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 to force a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals, this time wiping out an early deficit to push the Penguins to their second elimination game of the postseason.

Pittsburgh leads the series 3-2 and can clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup Final on Tuesday in Ottawa. "What you're talking about is the difference between checking with a doctor and entering concussion protocol, they're two separate things".When you read the "evaluation and management protocol", and you look at the list of reasons a player must be removed from a game - not "can be", but "must be" - you wonder how Crosby didn't miss a shift. "We made a decision to shorten the bench a bit and come back (fresher) for the next one", Karlsson told reporters, with Boucher admitting as much in resting fellow defenseman Cody Ceci and forward Derick Brassard in the final period.

Thursday's victor earns the right to host the Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup Final next week. "There's a game when we're at our best doing what we do with our identity, and that's making sure we're not giving their players the space they need to do what they do best".

The Penguins might already be there.

It arrived in the form of a 5-on-3 power play that stretched out for more than a minute. Another source of concern heading into the game, the Ottawa power play had gone 0 for 29 in the previous 10 games.

Matt Murray has also been stout, stopping 96 of 101 shots faced since being inserted midway through Game 3. "It is one game at a time, but we know our next win puts us in contention for the Stanley Cup". And even though the team lost on Tuesday, Murray was more than satisfactory, saving 28 of 30 shots, with one of the Senators' goals coming on a five-on-three power play. It collapsed in the first period on Sunday, as turnover after turnover kept giving Pittsburgh the kind of chances that makes it such a hard out this time of year.

He played well in the first two games of the conference finals also, as the Ottawa Senators scored only two combined goals. He was replaced by Mike Condon. Sunday, he snatched 25 saves in a dominating 7-0 shutout to put the Penguins up 3-2 in the series.

Ottawa was primarily looking for a return to structure in Game 6, beginning with a smoother start - which they got. I feel like I am walking around lucky, like Mr. Saber says, so let's take the Doc Brown DeLorean back in time. That's just playoff hockey, and it's a formula the Pens should be ready to overcome on Thursday night.

While the Senators penalty kill clicks at 88.9 percent, they still take more minor penalties than any team left in the playoffs and have been shorthanded 45 times this postseason, third-most among all 16 teams.

"We bought ourselves two more days together and this team just wants to be around each other", Ryan said.

There was simply no chance that Game 6 would be a repeat of the 7-0 blowout the Senators had suffered in Game 5. F Conor Sheary was a healthy scratch.

Evgeni Malkin and Carter Rowney each had three assists, and the defenseman were very active in the point collecting department as well.

One goal loomed large, and the Penguins had one taken away during a scoreless game in the second period when a coach's challenge determined Trevor Daley interfered with Craig Anderson while their teammates scuffled in front of the crease.

  • Julie Sanders