WASHINGTON (KDKA/AP) – Marc-Andre Fleury turned back the clock with a brilliant 29-save shutout, Bryan Rust and Patric Hornqvist scored and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Washington Capitals 2-0 in Game 7 on Wednesday night to advance to the Eastern Conference finals.
The defending champion Penguins are eight victories away from another Stanley Cup and will have home-ice advantage against the Ottawa Senators. The Presidents’ Trophy-winning Capitals failed to get beyond the second round for the seventh time in as many chances in the Alex Ovechkin era.
Rust was again a hero in a crucial game for Pittsburgh, scoring his eighth goal in 12 career games facing elimination or with the chance to eliminate an opponent. Fleury looked like his old self from the start of the series if not his 2009 Cup run in frustrating the Capitals.
Braden Holtby made 26 saves in a losing effort.
Jay Caufield, ROOT Sports Penguins Analyst and two-time Stanley Cup Champion, says for the Penguins’ success you don’t have to look any farther than Fleury.
“The goaltending situation is what it was going to be about. When your goaltender can stand up and be the star of the game on the biggest night of the series, and the Penguins themselves just fed off of how [Fleury] was playing and he got better as the game wore on,” Caufield said.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)