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Craig Anderson, Senators force Game 7 vs. Penguins

Craig Anderson saved the day, saved the Ottawa Senators’ season and saved nearly everything else in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final.

The Senators goalie made 45 saves to backstop Ottawa to a 2-1 home win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, avoiding elimination and forcing a Game 7 on Thursday night. It was a mighty rebound effort from Anderson, who was pulled in Game 5 after giving up four goals on 14 shots in Pittsburgh.

Mike Hoffman’s goal early in the third period was the difference.

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The Penguins thought they opened the scoring early in the second period, as Trevor Daley found a loose puck in Anderson’s crease and tucked it home. But the goal was wiped away thanks to a coach’s challenge from the Senators.

But Evegni Malkin would break through moments later, snapping a shot off of Anderson’s pads and then collecting the rebound for his seventh goal of the playoffs at 4:51.

Bobby Ryan answered him at 13:15, thanks to a 5-on-3 power play handed to the Senators. Penguins defenseman Ron Hainsey went off for interference, and then fellow defenseman Ian Cole went off for high-sticking Kyle Turris.

In the third period, the Senators took the lead thanks to an absolute blast from Mike Hoffman that beat Penguins goalie Matt Murray.

It was Hoffman’s sixth of the postseason.

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Anderson carried them the rest of the way, making more saves than he had in any of his previous postseason games. It’s the kind of night Anderson can give you in the playoffs, and he gave one to the Senators when they needed it most.

Game 7 is scheduled for Thursday night back in Pittsburgh.

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.