Stanley Cup playoffs: Kunitz sends Penguins through after epic game seven

The Senators made things interesting, tying Game 7 with about five minutes to go.

Sidney Crosby set up Chris Kunitz for the double overtime victor and his second goal of the night as the Pittsburgh Penguins ended the Sens season 3-2 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final.

Robinson, a Hall of Fame defenseman who won the Stanley Cup six times as a player, joined the Sharks in 2012 after coaching the Kings and Devils. He also wanted to make sure his teammates remained poised as the pressure rose. "Just because he's a little bit older doesn't mean he can't play anymore and I think some people think that". He had a.922 save percentage in 19 playoff games.

Then there was Anderson, the Game 6 hero who nearly lifted his team back to the Cup final for the first time since 2007.

"That's probably been my toughest decision all year long - to keep him out (of most playoff) games", Boucher said Thursday morning of Kelly, who had played only one post-season game previously after suiting up in all 82 during the regular season. Penguins LW Conor Sheary was back after being a healthy scratch for two consecutive games, replacing RW Josh Archibald. "We've got another challenge in front of us and another chance to win a Stanley Cup". It was the fifth one-goal game of the series.

"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.

The Pens will host game one of the Stanley Cup Finals on Monday against a well-rested Nashville Predators squad.

The Senators are 0-5 in Game 7s, the last setback coming in the first round to the New York Rangers in 2012.

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.

Much of the Penguins' successes over the years can be tied to Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, but it could be a former third-round draft pick who leads them in Game 7. If the Penguins win, they'll be the first Stanley Cup champion to return to the finals since Detroit in 2009. Rusty is a good player, and our expectation is that he's going to have a solid game for us. Ottawa rebuilt itself on the fly this season in coach Guy Boucher's first year. Pittsburgh F Patric Hornqvist skated during warmups, but was held out of the lineup for a sixth straight game with an upper-body injury. Defenceman Cody Ceci had the second-most ice time among Senators skaters, behind Karlsson, but struggled, posting a team-worst 45.8 CF%, and on the ice for seven goals for and 15 against in the postseason.

"We all come from difference places and need to respect each other's opinions and so that's what we have been working on", Nicholl said.

  • Julie Sanders