Penguins beat Senators to reach Stanley Cup Final

Thee Senators were unable to win the first Game 7 in franchise history as Chris Kunitz scored his second of the game and that was the victor in double-OT to give the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins handed Ottawa a 3-2 loss to capture the Prince of Wales Trophy with a 4-3 series victory in the Eastern Conference final.

"With the way [Kunitz] was holding the stick you could tell he wanted it bad", Sidney Crosby said.

"I think that we did everything we could in our power and at the end of the day it could've gone either way, but they did it for a little bit longer than we did and a little bit better", said Karlsson.

"We have worked a lot on character education and reasons why people cheer for different teams and we've talked about why some of the kids cheer for Ottawa and how I cheer for Pittsburgh because that's where my dad works and that's okay", Martin said. "It was a huge goal for us, and a great reward for him for the way he played all night".

Kunitz got the game victor on a slap shot from the top of the faceoff circle that made it past two Sens defenders and over the right shoulder of Anderson, who stopped 39 of Pittsburgh's 42 shots on goal. It would be especially impressive given the Penguins injury woes, which have sidelined No. 1 defender Kris Letang, No. 1 goaltender Matt Murray as well as a whole host of other key regulars, including top point-producing defenceman Justin Schultz. "The biggest step is ahead".

Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson, who stopped 45 of 46 shots in Game 6, made 39 saves Thursday.

With their backs to the wall, the Ottawa Senators found a way to erase a 2-1 deficit in a game where they were getting fairly out-played.

And somehow, some way, the Penguins, injured and exhausted, having played more games in two years than any other National Hockey League team, found a way to edge the never-say-die Sens in their 207th game since the start of 2015-16. Pittsburgh has proven they're able to come alive in tough situations, as they were driven to a game seven by the Washington Capitals in the second round and were able to come out alive. There, Pittsburgh will have to face the Western Conference champion Nashville Predators.

The Sens, more broadly, became the kind of team Guy Boucher envisioned when he took over as head coach one year ago.

The momentum lasted all of 20 seconds.

Chris Kunitz and Conor Sheary traded passes before Kunitz finished it off, scoring the game's first goal at 9:55.

Once again, the Penguins could not hold the lead.

Game 7 quickly morphed from a boring, textbook Guy Boucher affair in the second period when the Sens and Pens traded goals in a span of 20 seconds.

Opposing the Penguins will be the Nashville Predators, who, unlike their opponents, are making their first Stanley Cup Final appearance. The 25-year-old, a scratch at times previously in the playoffs, finished off a Karlsson blast that banged off the post. Kelly has a history of victories in Game 7s and won a Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins in 2011. It was the fifth one-goal game of the series.

  • Julie Sanders