Chris Kunitz scored at 5:09 of the second overtime to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-2 home victory over the Ottawa Senators in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final on Thursday night.

Chris Kunitz scores in 2OT, Penguins Beat Senators In Game 7

Sidney Crosby fed Kunitz, who fired a shot past Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Craig Anderson from just outside the left circle.

“I don’t think it really matters who scores,” the left wing said. “I think we’re all just happy that the game is ended and we’re on the top side of it and that we get to go play for another Stanley Cup. I think it’s something that takes work from everybody on the ice to be able to score a goal.”

The defending NHL champion Penguins will next host the Western Conference-winning Nashville Predators in their second consecutive Stanley Cup Final series. Game 1 of the last round of the playoffs is Monday at 8 pm EST, and will air on NBC.

Kunitz also netted Pittsburgh’s first goal at 9:55 of the second before Mark Stone tied it 1-1 just 20 seconds later. Before Thursday, Kunitz hadn’t scored since Feb. 16, a span of 35 games.

For his first goal of Game 7, Kunitz fed Conor Sheary, which led to a 2-on-1 against Erik Karlsson. Sheary passed over Karlsson’s stick to Kunitz, who shot inside the left post. Sheary returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch the past two contests.

The Penguins gained a 2-1 lead with 8:16 left in regulation. After Dion Phaneuf was called for interference on Phil Kessel, Justin Schulz shot past a screen from Kunitz and off the right post. Shchulz, who had missed Pittsburgh’s previous four games with an upper-body injury, praised Kunitz after the game.

“You can’t say enough about that guy,” said Schultz. “He’s a leader in the room and on the ice. He’s a big reason we’re moving on here.”

When asked if there was anything better than scoring in Game 7, the Canadian defenseman added: “Yeah, getting the win. It was great to see. It felt really good to see Kuni’s shot go in.”

Ottawa forward Ryan Dzingel tied it 2-2 with 5:19 remaining in the third period to send the game to overtime. Karlsson fired a long-range shot that hit Matt Murray’s right post and Dzingel tapped in the rebound from the goalie’s left side after the puck also ricocheted off Murray.

Murray made 27 saves, while Anderson stopped 39 shots for the Senators.

Thursday was the 41st time, and seventh time in a conference final, a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs reached overtime.

“This was a hard-fought series and we knew it was going to be a hard-fought series going in,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “[Ottawa] is a really good team. They’re not here by accident. They’re a really good team and they’re hard to play against.

“I’m proud of our group for the resilience that they showed throughout the course of this series.”

PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 25: Chris Kunitz #14 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates after scoring a goal against Craig Anderson #41 of the Ottawa Senators during the second period in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena on May 25, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

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