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


Chris Kunitz was the hero as he sent the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Stanley Cup Finals for a second straight year with a 3-2 win after double overtime against the Ottawa Senators.

Four months after his last goal, Kunitz scored twice, including five minutes, nine seconds into double overtime of game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Champions Pittsburgh led by a goal on two occasions in game seven, first thanks to Kunitz in the second period and again when Justin Schultz scored on a power play with just under nine minutes remaining in regulation that figured to be the decider.

Ottawa had an answer for both.

Mark Stone's second-period marker came 20 seconds after Kunitz broke the ice.

Then it was Ryan Dzingel, without a goal in nearly a month, who scored with 5:19 to play.

In overtime, where the Sens made a living with a 6-1 record these playoffs, Craig Anderson was as stellar as he has been during their run.

The veteran goaltender twice turned aside prime chances from Phil Kessel, the first on a breakaway and the second clanking off the post and just over the crossbar.

Kunitz got the game winner 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 marked the 11th time in NHL history a game seven was decided in double overtime and first since the New York Rangers knocked off the New Jersey Devils in 1994.

Ottawa fell to 0-6 all time in game sevens, while Pittsburgh are 10-7.

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