Watch NHL Round 2 Game 7 Online, Team News

If the Ottawa Senators are going to get to the Stanley Cup finals, it will be through the front door of the defending champs. Trotz assured him it was just a matter of the team as a whole doing something right.

If that wasn't good enough, two of the greatest players of this generation, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, will create a thrilling finale when the Washington Capitals host the Pittsburgh Penguins for all the marbles.

Motivated by its first conference finals appearance since the 2006-07 season, the young Senators team will certainly be tough to handle, even for an experienced Pittsburgh team. Anaheim hadn't won a Game 7 since 2006, when they were still the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

In what is now a telling picture of Washington's evolution as a team and Ovechkin's as a captain, the Capitals enter their most important game of the past two decades with the franchise's foundational player in reduced role. Surely, significant changes will be made to a team that cruised to the Presidents Trophy with a 55-19-8 record.

NBCSN's Mike Milbury wasted no time in assessing Ovechkin's play, something Trotz wouldn't do.

Patric Hornqvist picked up where Rust left off, giving the Pens a 2-0 lead in the third period. By defeating Washington in Game 7 Fleury also avoided blowing a 3-1 series lead for the third time (TB, NYR) in his career. In Game 6, Crosby appeared shaken up in a collision when he got tangled up with goaltender Braden Holtby, Capitals' defenceman John Carlson and the end boards. Ultimately, the game-winning goal was scored by Bryan Rust in the second period, sending Pittsburgh on to the Eastern Conference Final, while Washington will return home unable to advance past the second round again. He missed Game 4 with a concussion and returned for Game 5 on Saturday. He slid a pass to Jake Guentzel, who held on for a second before feeding Rust.

Most obervers considered this his best shot, with a solid supporting cast, fresher legs due to some late-season rest and a maturing goalie in Holtby.

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Fleury stood firm in the second period, stopping all 15 shots he faced. "We're going to have to live with that and take full responsibility for that".

WASHINGTON (AP) - Marc-Andre Fleury thanked his stick and flashed a smile so wide it could be seen through his mask.

Bryan Rust #17 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates with Sidney Crosby #87 after scoring a second period goal against the Washington Capitals in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center on May 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. It resulted in out-attempting the Capitals 14-11 in the period despite Washington's desperate predicament. Hornqvist's fourth of the postseason was a flawless backhand that went through the legs of Capitals defenceman Nate Schmidt and off the bar past Holtby's catching mitt.

"We didn't lose the series tonight", Washington center Nicklas Backstrom said. The next five overwhelmed Pittsburgh on its home ice to tie the series for the first time since the puck dropped in Game 1.

The tide turned, however, after the Penguins tested Holtby for the first time with a long range effort at the 3:47 mark.

Ritchie, the 21-year-old power forward in his first playoff campaign, fired a handsome wrist shot past Talbot on a pass from Corey Perry 3:21 into the third period.

The best chances of the opening 20 weren't even shots on goal. A couple of ticks later, Malkin took a tripping penalty on T.J. Oshie, and the Caps' closest call was a blast by Kevin Shattenkirk that beat Fleury, but hit his glove side post.

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