PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins advanced to the Stanley Cup Final with a 2-1 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final at Consol Energy Center on Thursday.
The Penguins will play the San Jose Sharks in the Cup Final, which begins Monday in Pittsburgh (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).
Here is the in-game spotlight matchup from Game 7 between the two captains, Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos, who played his first game since March 31 because of surgery to clear a blood clot near his right collarbone:
Goals: Stamkos 0; Crosby 0
Assists: Stamkos 0; Crosby 0
Points: Stamkos 0; Crosby 0
Ice time: Stamkos 11:55; Crosby 23:00
Key intangible stat: Crosby had a team-high six shots on goal and won 14 of 26 faceoffs. Stamkos had two shots on goal and three total shot attempts.
Video: TBL@PIT, Gm7: Murray denies Stamkos' slap shot
Best moment: Crosby, who had several dominant shifts, was at his best during a 4-on-4 situation in the second period after the Penguins had grabbed a 1-0 lead on Bryan Rust's first goal. He created chances for himself and right wing Phil Kessel. He had a great chance with a backhand shot after cutting through the slot, but Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy somehow got his left pad out to stop it. In all, Kessel had two shots. Crosby had one and another missed the net.
Stamkos' best chance came on a breakaway at 16:11 of the second period, with the teams playing 4-on-4, and he came within inches of tying the game at 2-2. He was sprung for a breakaway by left wing Alex Killorn. Stamkos got the puck at the Pittsburgh blue line, skated into the right circle, wound up and took a slap shot. Penguins goalie Matt Murray was challenging a foot above the crease. The shot got through Murray, between his side and his right arm, but the puck trickled about a foot wide to the left of the net.
Series stat line (goals-assists-points): Stamkos 0-0-0; Crosby 3-2-5