RUST LEADS PENGUINS TO GAME 7 VICTORY, STANLEY CUP FINAL
Pittsburgh Penguins forward Bryan Rust scored two goals, including the decisive goal 30 seconds after the Tampa Bay Lightning tied the game in the second period to help the Penguins beat the Lightning 2-1 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final and advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the fifth time (also 1991, 1992, 2008 and 2009).
* Rust had his second Stanley Cup Playoff multigoal game, both of which have come in series-clinching wins (also Game 5 of FR vs. NYR: 2-1-3). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the second NHL rookie with multiple goals in two series-clinching wins within a single postseason. The Chicago Blackhawks' Jeremy Roenick did it in 1990.
* Elias adds that Rust became the fourth Penguins player, and first rookie, with multiple goals in a Game 7. The others: Jiri Hrdina (1991 DSF vs. NJD: 2-0-2), Sidney Crosby (2009 CSF at WSH: 2-1-3) and Max Talbot (2009 F at DET: 2-0-2).
* Rust also became the eighth rookie in the Stanley Cup Playoffs to score twice in a Game 7 and the first to do so since the New Jersey Devils' Adam Henrique in the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at the Florida Panthers (2-0-2).
* Rust has scored five goals through 17 games in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs (5-3-8), equaling a Penguins record for a rookie in a single postseason (Michel Briere: 10 GP in 1970). Rust's five playoff goals also match his career total from his 55 regular-season games (5-8-13).
Video: TBL@PIT, Gm7: Rust accounts for Pens' offense in Gm7
Home Team in Caps
PITTSBURGH 2, Tampa Bay 1 - PIT wins 4-3
DID YOU KNOW?
Via Elias, Pittsburgh's Matt Murray (16 saves) and Tampa Bay's Andrei Vasilevskiy (37 saves) became the sixth set of rookie goaltenders to face off in a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the first to do so since the 2006 Eastern Conference Final, when the Carolina Hurricanes' Cam Ward defeated the Buffalo Sabres' Ryan Miller.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: PENGUINS WIN GAME 7
* The Penguins improved to 8-7 all-time in Game 7s, including 3-7 at home. It was their first such win on home ice since the 1995 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Washington Capitals (3-0 W), ending a four-game losing streak.
* The Lightning fell to 5-2 all-time in Game 7s, including 2-2 on the road. Their last loss in any Game 7 was in the 2011 Eastern Conference Final at the Boston Bruins (1-0 L).
* The team that scores first improved to 124-42 (.747) all-time in Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including a 5-0 record this year.
* Home teams improved to 97-69 (.584) all-time in Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including a 4-1 record this year.
Video: TBL@PIT, Gm7: Pens advance to SCF with Game 7 win
NHL ANNOUNCES 2016 STANLEY CUP FINAL SCHEDULE
The Penguins will face the Sharks in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final, which begins May 30 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.
Based on their superior regular-season point total, the Penguins will host Games 1 and 2 of the best-of-7 series, as well as Games 5 and 7 if necessary. The Sharks will host Games 3 and 4, as well as Game 6 if necessary.
Click here for the complete schedule, including broadcast information.
MILESTONES & BENCHMARKS
* Lightning forward Brian Boyle skated in his 100th career playoff game.
* Penguins forward Chris Kunitz (0-1-1), who appeared in his 100th playoff game with the Penguins, extended his point streak to five games (3-3-6).
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos played 11:55 and had two shots on goal while playing in his first game since March 31. He had surgery to remove a blood clot near his right collarbone April 4. … Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin (0-2-2) extended his point streak to five games (1-5-6). He has 20-28-48 in 38 combined regular-season and playoff games against the Lightning. … Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin (1-0-1) totaled 5-9-14 in 17 playoff games, compared to 4-6-10 in 21 regular-season games. … ICYMI: Ottawa Senators defenseman Chris Phillips, who played his entire 1,179-game NHL career with the Senators, announced his retirement from the NHL. Per Elias, he joined Gilbert Perreault (1,191 w/ BUF) and Denis Potvin (1,060 w/ NYI) as the only No. 1 draft picks to skate in more than 1,000 regular-season games while playing their entire careers with one franchise. … Jimmy Fallon, host of "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," handed out superlativesabout members of the Sharks, Penguins and Lightning.
SECOND EPISODE OF "ALL ACCESS: QUEST FOR THE STANLEY CUP"
Showtime Sports debuts the second episode of "ALL ACCESS: Quest for the Stanley Cup," the first-of-its-kind docu-series chronicling the 2016 conference finalists, at 9 p.m. ET on Friday on Showtime in the United States. Sportsnet in Canada will air the episode at midnight ET.
* Click here for a clip from the second episode.
* ICYMI: Click here to watch the first episode in its entirety.
TWITTER Q&A WITH KEEPER OF THE CUP
Phil Pritchard, the Keeper of the Cup, will visit Twitter Canada's headquarters in Toronto on Friday for a Q&A with fans beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET.
Twitter members can use the #AskStanley hashtag to ask Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) questions about his adventures with the iconic trophy as well as what to expect heading into the Stanley Cup Final.