The Penguins will face the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference Final.
Pittsburgh took the win on goals by Bryan Rust and Patric Hornqvist. Sidney Crosby had an assist.
The Capitals struggled to get anything going, especially as the game wound to a close. They had the slight edge in shots and hits, plus they dominated in the faceoff circle, but they couldn’t make anything happen offensively and couldn’t get the puck past Pittsburgh netminder Marc-Andre Fleury.
Crosby, who led all Penguins forwards in ice time with 20:12, was every bit as good as he needed to be in the effort. Despite concussion concerns, he displayed tenacity and led his team to victory.
Alex Ovechkin had 18:22 of ice time for the Capitals, including 3:13 of power play time. He had four shots on goal, but he was on the ice for both Pittsburgh goals. Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie, Justin Williams, Andre Burakovsky, Marcus Johansson, and Evgeni Kuznetsov all had more ice time than the Great Eight.
In a Game Seven situation, that’s a pretty big deal.
While the Capitals were able to dominate the Penguins in Game Six, they appeared to be missing more than a few steps in Game Seven and couldn’t pull off anything of note in front of their home crowd. They’ll have a lot to unpack in yet another ouster at the hands of Pittsburgh.
The Penguins managed a measure of redemption from their no-show in Game Six and they came out with a strong defensive performance that allowed them to sit on the two-goal lead. They had a combined 19 blocked shots, with Brian Dumoulin and Ron Hainsey blocking three shots each.
And now, Pittsburgh will go on to face a hungry Ottawa team for a chance to win the ultimate prize in sports.