The Ottawa Senators/Pittsburgh Penguins had to push things to the limit and so the series went to game seven THEN double overtime. The lord and savior of Pittsburgh, Chris Kunitz, fired home a shot to end the game 3-2 to the Penguins who stand victorious as the Eastern Conference Champions.
It’s nice to be able to contribute,” Kunitz said, “but we all know it’s a team game, and we’re all going to have to pull our own weight at some point.”
Incredibly, Kunitz hadn’t scored AT ALL in the playoffs this year until last night’s game where he scored the first and third goals.
The Penguins will face the Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup Final. This is the first time the defending champions have made it to the final since the Detroit Red Wings in 2009 – and the cup hasn’t been won twice in a row since 1998 which is also held by the Red Wings. Big shoes to fill, Pittsburgh!
Whilst the Predators going all the way would be a fairy tale, the Penguins have plenty of their own.
- Ron Hainsey, 36 years old, played 906 NHL games without EVER going to the playoffs. With his trade to Pittsburgh, he has experienced the playoffs and has gone all the way to the final.
- Mark Streit, another veteran at 39, has never won a Stanley Cup either and how sweet would it be to win one with the Flyers’ biggest rivals after spending four years in Philly?
- Matt Cullen is likely to retire at the end of the year, aged 40. He has already won cups in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes, and last year with the Penguins – but wouldn’t it be nice to end your career with a hat-trick of Stanleys?
Credit where it’s due… the Senators played a hell of a series. Karlsson was outstanding, as was goalie, Craig Anderson. Anderson’s wife, Nicholle, was diagnosed with cancer in October last year so Craig took around three months off to care for her and their children whilst she underwent treatment. To miss such a big chunk of the season, go through hell with his wife’s health, and to get back and perform at the level he has is commendable – many times throughout the series Anderson kept the Sens in it. Congratulations to the team for making it so far – and best of luck to the Anderson’s in Nicholle’s fight with cancer. You can follow it here: http://www.stickbynik.com/