Senators force deciding match » Manila Bulletin Sports

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Pittsburgh Penguins' Matt Murray, right, makes a save on Ottawa Senators' Mike Hoffman (68) . The Penguins won 7-0. (AP Photo/Gene J.Puskar)

Pittsburgh Penguins’ Matt Murray, right, makes a save on Ottawa Senators’ Mike Hoffman (68) . The Penguins won 7-0. (AP Photo/Gene J.Puskar)

The Ottawa Senators came from behind to force a decider in their Eastern Conference final series against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.

A third period strike from Mike Hoffman completed a 2-1 win for the Senators, who rallied after falling behind to a Evgeni Malkin goal in the second period.

Bobby Ryan got Ottawa back on level terms in the second period to leave the series balanced at 3-3 heading for Game 7 in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

Senators coach Guy Boucher praised the way his team had responded after a 7-0 drubbing in Game 5.

“The guys are fighters, and they choose to fight. They don’t choose to bail out. They don’t choose to freeze. They choose to fight,” Boucher said.

Senators goalie Craig Anderson meanwhile proved one of the heroes for the Canadians, stopping 45 shots, including 22 of 23 in the second period.

Hoffman’s winner came at 1:34 of the third when he gathered a pass from Fredrik Claesson and blasted a slap shot past Penguins goalie Matt Murray high to the glove side. Malkin and Ryan exchanged goals in the second period.

The Penguins looked to have taken a lead at 3:04 of the second, when Sidney Crosby found Trevor Daley to shoot and beat Craig Anderson with a rebound.

However Daley was later adjudged to have interfered with the goaltender, denying Pittsburgh a precious score. Pittsburgh are chasing back-to-back Stanley Cup wins after their triumph in the NHL showpiece in 2016. (AFP)

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