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Hoffman's goal helps Senators beat Penguins to force Game 7

There have been 168 Game 7s played in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the team that has scored first is 125-43, including 1-1 this season.

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Game 7, such as the one the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators are facing Thursday in the Eastern Conference Final, brings out a lot of things.

And let's not forget that Ottawa's best player, defenceman and perennial Norris Trophy candidate Erik Karlsson is basically playing on one leg, or foot. After getting off to a poor start in shots on goal this postseason, the Pittsburgh Penguins have now outshot the Senators 117-81. Tied at 3-3, the two teams are set to face off Thursday night in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals at PPG Paints Arena.

Can they knock out the champs?

That game, like the previous 6 are in the past, and all that matters is what happens when the puck drops tonight. Expect Pittsburgh to win this one. Washington needs to go into Game 7 with the mentality that matching minors are as unsafe as giving up a power play and avoid it at all costs.

Sidney Crosby, Bryan Rust and Phil Kessel each had a goal and an assist, and Carter Rowney and Evgeni Malkin each added three assists for Pittsburgh.

A 5-4 overtime loss Saturday - after the Senators scored the tying goal with 1:26 left in the third period on a shot that bounced off three Rangers before trickling across the goal line - put NY on the brink of elimination. "I've lived it for quite a few years, and it's hell when you don't have it because everything you do turns to darkness, and there's nothing that really matters when you don't have a real No. 1 goaltender. We need to play better, like don't listen to noise, don't listen to like everything, like forget everything and play how we can, like we have good group, good leadership, and just show our game".

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"Whatever it takes. I think you've got to be prepared for anything, stay in the moment as best you can", Anderson said. He also won a Stanley Cup with Boston in 2011 and delivered an inspirational speech to the Senators on Tuesday ahead of a 2-1 Game 6 win. He brought the Canadian Tire Centre to life with his game-tying power play goal at 13:15 of the second period, floating into open space after causing confusion in the slot for a one-timer that beat Murray to his right post.

"Instead of reinventing the wheel, we just got to stick to our strengths". "Obviously, when you get it, you move on". Anderson and the Senators have the potential to play much better defensively as they did in the first three games of this series, when they allowed a total of three goals.

There exists the possibility that no matter what the Senators do, it may not be enough to stop a Penguins team that appears to be operating on all cylinders.

While Anderson has always been well-respected, you earn your stripes in the playoffs.

"They were going. They were going good".

Down to their last out, the Ottawa Senators plan on retreating to the style that brought them to the Eastern Conference finals.

"It's just a game, but the tough part is to actually take everything out and make it just a game and make it what it is", said Boucher.

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