OTTAWA, Ontario — Mike Hoffman scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period to give the Ottawa Senators a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night and force a decisive Game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals.

Bobby Ryan also scored a rare power-play goal for Ottawa and Craig Anderson stopped 44 shots.

Evgeni Malkin gave Pittsburgh, vying for its second straight trip to the Stanley Cup finals, the lead early in the second period and Matt Murray finished with 28 saves.

Game 7 is Thursday night in Pittsburgh.

The Penguins failed to close out a series on their first try for the third time in these playoffs and fifth consecutive time overall.

Pittsburgh tilted the ice during the first half of the second period, accounting for 16 of the first 19 shots in the period, but the Senators steadied themselves later in the middle session.

Ottawa took over – and got the game-winning goal – early in the third, holding the Penguins to zero shots on goal for more than six minutes at the start of the final period.

The Senators charged ahead 2-1 on a rocket of a shot from Hoffman at 1:34, his blast from the top of the left circle going ping-ping-ping before going in.

The Penguins got a superb goal from Evgeni Malkin in the second period, but an apparent Trevor Daley goal that was reversed via coach’s challenge loomed large.

At 3:04 of the second, Daley pushed a puck through in a scrum.

Ottawa Coach Guy Boucher argued for goaltender interference.

After a review it was determined that Daley had kept pushing Anderson, preventing him from making the save.

Malkin put the Penguins ahead 1-0 at 4:51. He curled out to the bottom of the right circle with Ottawa’s Zach Smith trailing him. Anderson stopped Malkin’s initial shot, but Malkin backhanded the rebound to complete a fantastic individual effort.

Ryan tied the score at 13:15 of the second.

Pittsburgh was down a pair of defensemen when Ron Hainsey went off for interference and Ian Cole picked up two minutes for high-sticking just 36 seconds later. Ryan blasted a one-timer from Kyle Turris from the right circle for Ottawa’s first power-play goal in the series.

It snapped an 0-of-29 skid overall for Ottawa’s power play, which hadn’t scored since April 27.

Ottawa’s best scoring chance in the first period came when Mark Stone swatted a puck out of the air like he was poking a double the opposite way.

No dice, though, as Murray got a little help from the post.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: