There will be a game seven to decide the NHL Eastern Conference finals after the Ottawa Senators stopped the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1.
Facing elimination for the first time this postseason, Craig Anderson and the Senators weathered a relentless Penguins attack that piled up seven goals two days earlier and emerged victorious on Tuesday, pushing their roller-coaster series to an all-decisive final game.
Anderson faced 46 shots and stopped 45 of them.
Pittsburgh's lone goal came early in the second period, moments after a controversial coach's challenge negated another.
Evgeni Malkin's seventh goal and NHL-leading 24th point of the playoffs put reigning Stanley Cup champions the Penguins ahead 1-0.
That lead held until Bobby Ryan scored on a five-on-three power play with 6:45 remaining in the middle frame, ending a brutal 0-for-29 drought with the man advantage that had hung over the Sens' heads like a dark cloud the last two series. Pittsburgh were winning the shot battle 34-19.
It was not long into the third period before Mike Hoffman gave Ottawa their first lead since game four.
-- NHL (@NHL) May 24, 2017
Hoffman gathered the puck near the blue line, skated into the high circle and uncorked an absolute beauty of a shot that caromed off the far-side post and into the net.
A screened Penguins goalie Matt Murray had no chance.
Pittsburgh applied plenty of pressure as the third period progressed, but Anderson was an immovable force in net. A penalty with 4:05 to play all but extinguished the Penguins' hopes of forcing overtime, coughing up a chance to reach the Stanley Cup Final for a fourth time in 10 years. At least for now.
The series shifts back to PPG Paints Arena for game seven on Thursday.
Erik Karlsson, Senators - With an assist on Hoffman's winner, Karlsson has 16 points in these playoffs, tying Marian Hossa (2003) for fourth on the Senators' all-time list for most points in one playoff year. Ottawa are 10-2 when Karlsson records a point this postseason.
Mike Hoffman, Senators - Hoffman now has six goals in the playoffs, tied with Bobby Ryan for second on the Sens.
Craig Anderson, Senators - One game after giving up four goals on 14 shots, Anderson turned aside 45 of a whopping 46 to force a series decider. He also pulled even with Patrick Lalime for most playoff wins (21) in franchise history.