Senators Lose 4-2 to Devils

Check out the highlights

Well, it came down to game number 82 to see who the Senators would face in the upcoming Stanley Cup playoffs.  And while everyone seemed to have an opinion on which team Ottawa would prefer to matchup against, the result of this contest would pretty much determine whether it be the Bruins or the Rangers. 

The Senators opened the scoring when Martin Brodeur had a bit of a brain fart.  On Matt Gilroy’s weak backhand towards the net, Brodeur attempted to kick the puck but failed to make contact and it was 1-0.   But before the end of the period, Ilya Kovalchuk sniped one by Craig Anderson on the power-play and it was tied after 20 minutes.

Onto the second, where Ottawa retook the lead.  Jim O’Brien received a pass from Erik Condra and snapped it by a sliding Brodeur to make it 2-1.  But, just like the first, the Devils were able to tie it on the power-play.  Poor Craig Anderson was a victim of a 5 on 1 (yes, I said a 5 on 1) when 3 Senators got caught in the Devils zone.  Petr Sykora finished the play and it was 2-2 after 40.

And just because the Senators like the suspense to last as long as possible, they gave up the lead in the third.  On an offensive rush, Alexei Ponikarovsky fought off Daniel Alfredsson all the way to the net before getting off a weak shot. Craig Anderson made the initial save only to see the rebound chipped past him by Steven Gionta for his 1st NHL goal.  The Devils were ahead 3-2 and would not relinquish the lead.

The loss meant that the Senators had to wait and see what the Capitals & Panthers did before finding out who they would face in the playoffs.  It also meant that no matter what, they were heading into the post-season on a 3 game losing streak; not the most ideal situation for a team hoping to create an upset or two.

UPDATE: Due to the fact that both the Capitals & Panthers won this evening, the Senators fall to 8th in the Eastern Conference standings and will face the New York Rangers in the first round of the playoffs.  While going up against the No. 1 seed is never a good thing, the Senators did have some success against New York this season, winning 3 of their 4 matchups.  The players will now take Sunday off before returning to the ice for practice Monday morning.

Paul MacLean (audio)

MacLean, Anderson, Foligno & Gilroy


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