PENGUINS OUTLAST SENATORS IN 2OT TO RETURN TO STANLEY CUP FINAL
Chris Kunitz (2-1—3) scored his second goal of the contest at 5:09 of the second overtime period as the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins defeated the Senators in Game 7 to advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the second straight season and sixth time overall.
Pittsburgh became the first NHL team to make consecutive appearances in the Stanley Cup Final since it faced Detroit in back-to-back years in 2008 (4-2 L) and 2009 (4-3 W). The Penguins, who also appeared in the Final in 1991 and 1992, are the first team in the NHL’s expansion era (since 1967-68) to make consecutive Final appearances on three separate occasions.
The Penguins improved to 10-7 in 17 all-time Game 7s, including a 2-0 mark in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs (also SR at WSH: 2-0 W). Pittsburgh appeared in multiple Game 7s within a single postseason for the second time in franchise history (also 2009 CSF at WSH: 6-2 W and 2009 F at DET: 2-1 W).
Thursday’s contest marked the 27th overtime game of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs (81 GP), one shy of tying the NHL record for most in a single postseason (28 in 85 GP in 1993). The Penguins scored the fourth series-clinching overtime goal of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, two shy of the NHL record for most in a single postseason (6 in 1993 and 1999). In addition, the 50 one-goal games in any fashion this postseason (81 GP, 61.7%) are one shy of the single-year NHL record, established in 2007 (51 in 81 GP, 63.0%).
The team that scores first improved to 126-43 (.745) in 169 all-time Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including a 2-1 record this year. Home teams own a 99-70 (.585) advantage in the 169 all-time Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including a 2-1 record this year. Forty-one Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs have required overtime (24.2%), with home teams owning a 21-20 edge.
The Penguins won a Game 7 in the Conference Finals for the second straight postseason (also 2016 CF vs. TBL: 2-1 W). Elias notes that Pittsburgh became the fifth team in NHL history to win a Game 7 to reach the Stanley Cup Final in consecutive playoff years and first since Dallas in 1999 and 2000. The Penguins improved to 4-1 in five all-time playoff series against the Senators, including four straight series wins dating to the 2008 Conference Quarterfinals.
Penguins forward Carl Hagelin improved to 8-1 in nine Game 7 appearances. Elias notes that he tied Glenn Anderson (8-4), Ray Bourque (8-1) and Brad Richards (8-0) for the most Game 7 wins in NHL history . . . Senators captain Erik Karlsson (0-2—2) collected his 15th and 16th assists of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs to establish a franchise record for most in a single postseason, eclipsing the mark set by Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza in 2007 (15) . . . NHL LiveWire: Click here to listen to the sights and sounds from Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final.
* Information provided via NHL Press Release