Kunitz's double-OT goal sends Penguins back to Stanley Cup

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Wingels, meanwhile, played in the Stanley Cup final with San Jose past year and has 54 games of post-season experience.

The Sens were that close to defying the odds all the way to the Stanley Cup final, that close to upending the defending champs, that close to denying Sidney Crosby one more chance at another ring.

The Senators forced a return trip to Pittsburgh - where they lost 7-0 loss in Game 5 on Sunday - by leaning heavily on Anderson in a 2-1 Game 6 victory, putting both teams at odds with history. He didn't see a shot in overtime until one from Kyle Turris at 11:26 appeared to catch him in a sensitive area.

"Our last four games in this series for me, we really found our game", Sullivan said.

The action shifts back to Pittsburgh for game seven and hopefully all of the powerful energy the Penguins have had inside PPG Paints Arena will help the team's fortunes.

"It's just utter disbelief watching that go in the net", Ryan said after the 3-2 defeat on Thursday night. "We've got to embrace it and we've got to get excited about it, and I think our players are excited about it". The teams split their two meetings during the regular season, with each winning on home ice, with Nashville overwhelming Pittsburgh 5-1 back in November and the Penguins returning the favor with a 4-2 victory in January.

"It should be some exciting hockey as far as back and forth and fast and physical", Crosby said.

Pittsburgh has been almost unflappable in the face of adversity under Mike Sullivan, and is now 13-2 in playoff games following a loss over the last two springs.

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Phil Kessel (81) celebrates with Bryan Rust (17) after Rust's goal in the second period during Game 1 of the Penguins Stanley Cup first-round series against the Blue Jackets on April 12.

Pittsburgh goaltender Matt Murray, playing on his 23rd birthday, stopped 27-of-29 Senators shots as Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson, who stopped 45-of-46 shots in Game Six, made 39 saves on Thursday.

Sullivan always has his team focused only on the moment in front of them.

It was the second goal of Thursday's contest for three time Stanley Cup victor Kunitz. He has 10 points (3 G, 7 A) in 15 playoff games.

Anderson was also brilliant at times, winning Game 6 nearly by himself and then shining once more in Game 7.

Anderson, of the United States, was the first star in a 2-1 game six Senators victory that set the stage for Thursday's winner-take all showdown in Pittsburgh. Centre Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored eight goals to lead the Senators in the playoffs, though they were bunched together rather tightly, scoring seven in a six-game span.

"I just tried to hold the team in there as long as possible", Murray said.

"He's one of those guys for us who has shown the ability to be the very best when the stakes are at the highest", he said.