Kunitz scores 2 as Penguins edge Sens in Game 7
- Author: Julie Sanders May 27, 2017,
May 27, 2017, 11:20
Thanks to the players, for leaving it all on the ice and the magic you created with this inconceivable run. Should they win, they'll be the first team to repeat as Stanley Cup champions since the Detroit Red Wings in 1996-97 and 1997-98. Crosby sent a soft backhand pass from the right faceoff circle to Kunitz and for a moment, it seemed like old times.
In the second overtime frame, with the Penguins buzzing, Kunitz found himself in space with the puck on Crosby's stick and the Senators focused on shutting down Pittsburgh's captain. I don't know if it touched him or just kept going right by him. I've seen him score from there pretty often. We've had great individual performances, we have great goaltending, it's something every night. The 37-year-old Kunitz had gone 34 games without a goal before scoring twice in Game 7 to power the Pens to victory.
Bryan Rust #17 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates with the puck against Dion Phaneuf #2 of the Ottawa Senators in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Canadian Tire Centre on May 23, 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. And yet here they are on the doorstep to a title once again. "The biggest step is ahead". Less than three minutes later, at 14:41, Ryan Dzingel banged in a fortuitous rebound - one that hit off Murray's back - to force a 2-2 tie. Karlsson made another special play on the goal, which came 20 seconds after the Kunitz marker. Senators goalie Craig Anderson made eight saves in this period alone.
Just don't call them cursed.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are heading back to the Stanley Cup Final. And watching last night, I saw the other former Hurricane from this year, Viktor Stalberg, chasing down the puck as quick as any Senator, battling hard to give the Senators a chance to get in the zone.
Kunitz took a short pass from superstar Sidney Crosby and one-timed a shot over the right shoulder of goalkeeper Craig Anderson as the defending National Hockey League champions avoided being upset by the upstart Senators, who are now 0-6 in franchise history in Game 7s. Find Pittsburgh Penguins 2017 Stanley Cup Finals tickets box seats, club seats, SRO, general admission (GA), parking passes and more. Game 7 was the first game for Schultz since he was injured early on in Game 2.
"It is tough. I think it's happened all series", Sheary said.
There's something to be said for a double overtime Game 7 with a trip to the Stanley Cup Final on the line.
Chris Kunitz beat Craig Anderson 5:09 into the second overtime to give the defending champions a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final Thursday night.
Pittsburgh's lead evaporated 20 seconds later. Defensively, the Pittsburgh Penguins are allowing 2.8 goals per game and are killing 79.8 percent of their power play chances. Pittsburgh is led by their two elite centers, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Matt Murray threw his head back in disgust as it appeared to be a shot he wanted to have back.
Unbowed, Pittsburgh continued to press.
The next step, the last step, awaits.
The last time the Pens won back-to-back Cups was 1991 and 1992 - deep in the Lemieux era - which ended a run of teams winning consecutive Cups in regular fashion.
Schultz, set up by Kessel, had only just returned for Game 7 after sitting out the previous four games with an upper body injury.
Rinne has been sharp throughout the playoffs with a 12-4 record, a 1.70 goals-against average and a.941 save percentage.