Penguins Pregame: History goes both ways in a Game 7

The Senators made things interesting, tying Game 7 with about five minutes to go. He drove the Senators past Boston in the first round with six assists, added two goals and five more assists in the second round against NY and while slowed somewhat against Pittsburgh, still came up with five assists - including set-ups of Mark Stone and Ryan Dzingel in Game 7. They overcame a lot this season and almost made it to the Stanley Cup Finals.

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic). Pittsburgh Penguins' Chris Kunitz (14) gets a hug from teammate Carl Hagelin after scoring the game winning goal in Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Eastern Conference finals against the Ottawa Senators, Thursday, May 25, .

Kelly has yet to dress since the first round against Boston, but the 36-year-old forward does have 91 games of playoff experience. 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 Penguins are trying to become the first team since the Detroit Red Wings in 1998 to win back-to-back titles. It's telling of how well Ottawa played that it took Pittsburgh seven games to beat them.

Erik Karlsson assisted on goals from Mark Stone and Ryan Dzingel.

"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. Now here we are with the teams playing in game seven where the victor will go on to face the Nashville Predators in the NHL Championship while the loser's season comes to a crashing end.

The Senators' aggressive defensive play was made more valuable by Anderson's stinginess in net.

As for idiosyncrasies, this will be the first NHL Final with two coaches from the United States.

Numbers against one team or another can give an indication of what can be expected from that opponent in the next game, series or season.

And now it's the 16th-seeded Nashville Predators, who lost their No. 1 and 2 centres in the conference final, against the defending champs, who lost their No. 1 defenceman halfway through the season. Kunitz finished the game with three points, a plus-2 rating, six shots on goal, four hits and three blocked shots in 22:50 of ice time. The Penguins pumped eight shots at Anderson in the first overtime before finally breaking through when Kunitz won just the fourth multiple-overtime Game 7 of a conference final in National Hockey League history.

The Penguins would strike again, on their first and only powerplay of the night on a Dion Phaneuf interference penalty. Pittsburgh F Patric Hornqvist skated during warmups, but was held out of the lineup for a sixth straight game with an upper-body injury. Same with Pittsburgh's all-time record of 3-7 at home in Game 7s. It was the fifth one-goal game of the series.

  • Julie Sanders