What a thriller.
The Pittsburgh Penguins won an epic game – and series – Thursday night, beating the Ottawa Senators, 3-2, in double overtime of Game 7 of the conference finals. Chris Kunitz scored the first and last goals for the Penguins, who advance to their second Stanley Cup Final in as many seasons.
“That was an epic Game 7,” NHL on NBC analyst Eddie Olczyk said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “It really was. Give the Ottawa Senators full marks. The Penguins score first. They come back (and score), what, 20 seconds later? And the Penguins score again, and (the Senators) find a way to (tie it up). Chances up and down. It was just one of those games that you take into sales departments and (package as) the type of hockey that we’re trying to sell in the National Hockey League. It was a great game. It had everything you wanted. It had controversy, it had great goals, it had great saves, near misses – it was great to be a part of.”
Pittsburgh, which has played back-to-back seven-game series, will play Nashville for the Stanley Cup. The Predators eliminated Anaheim in six games in the conference finals and will have had a full week of rest when they face Pittsburgh in Game 1 on Monday. Puck drops at 8 p.m. ET.
“They’re going to go up against a well-rested team in Nashville, and you just wonder where the Penguins find the energy,” Olczyk said. “If you go back to the three rounds that the Penguins have played, they played five against Columbus, but that was really more like six-and-a-half games because of how hard and nasty it was. They had the seven games against Washington, and they have seven games against Ottawa. At some point, it’s going to catch up with you.”
The Penguins have looked gassed at certain points this postseason, but they’ve found a way to win games – and series.
“In Game 3 in Ottawa, the Penguins had nothing,” Olczyk said. “Games 5 and 6 against Washington, they looked like they were out of gas, but they were able to find a way to win Game 7. That’s what champions are made of. It was just a great, great hockey game.”