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Penguins defeat Lightning; Advance to Stanley Cup Final

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NHL

Pittsburgh Penguins: 2   Tampa Bay Lightning :1

The Pittsburgh Penguins tied their series against the Tampa Bay Lightning at 3 and forced a game 7 with a blowout win in game 6, winning 5-2. They would once again beat the Lightning, this time defeating them 2-1 in game 7 to clinch their birth in the Stanley Cup. The Penguins received both goals from rookie forward Bryan Rust, and goaltender Matt Murray stopped 16 of the 17 Lightning shots. Jonathan Drouin scored the lone goal for Tampa, and goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 37 of 39 shots in the losing effort, as his teams offense just couldn’t get it going, ending their season with an Eastern Conference Finals loss.

After a scoreless first period, Rust would put the Penguins up with just under 2 minutes gone in the second period. After a turnover by the Lightning, Rust received the puck as he entered the offensive zone and fired a scorching wrist shot past Vasilevskiy, beating him on the glove side. Midway through the second, Drouin would tie the game at 1. Drouin skated around the ice and across the faceoff circles in the offensive zone before firing the puck past the glove of Murray.

But the tie score would not last long, as Pittsburgh would take the lead just 30 seconds later, when Rust would score his second goal of the game. After the puck bounced in front of Vasilevskiy, Rust was able to get his stick on the puck and just pound it past his pad. The goal, which was his second of the game, would turn out to be not only the game winner, but the series clincher, making the Penguins the Eastern Conference Champions, sending them to face the San Jose Sharks in the Stanley Cup Final. This will be the Penguins first Stanley Cup appearance since 2009, when they defeated the Detroit Red Wings in 7 games to clinch the Stanley Cup just one year after losing to the Red Wings in the final.

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