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Senators bound for Broadway to begin playoffs

Season-ending loss to Devils opens door for matchup with East champion Rangers

Saturday, 04.7.2012 / 10:09 PM ET / 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs
By Rob Brodie  - OttawaSenators.com
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Senators bound for Broadway to begin playoffs
Daniel Alfredsson and the Senators will hit the ice at New York's Madison Square Garden on Thursday to open the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Rangers (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photography/OSHC).
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For the first time ever, the Ottawa Senators are headed to Broadway to open the Stanley Cup playoffs. Thanks in part to their season-ending road loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday afternoon, the eighth-seeded Senators will match up with the New York Rangers, the Eastern Conference's top team in the regular season, in an opening-round series.

The Senators and Rangers will get started Thursday at Madison Square Garden. That's because "the world's most famous arena" is booked for a concert on Wednesday, the opening night of the Stanley Cup playoffs, and the NBA's New York Knicks have the building on Friday. That means Game 2 is at MSG on Saturday. Both are 7 p.m. starts.

Then the series shifts to Scotiabank Place for Games 3 and 4 on April 16 and 18, respectively (both 7:30 p.m.). Game 5, if necessary, would be played in New York on April 21, with Game 6 set for April 23. A seventh and deciding game, if needed, would go April 26 in New York.

CBC's Hockey Night in Canada will have television coverage of the entire series. All games can also be heard on radio on the Team 1200.

Heading into the weekend, it seemed the Senators were locked into a first-round series with the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins — the two teams had held down the seventh and second spots in the conference standings for weeks — but all of that changed on a wild final Saturday of the regular season.

First, the Senators fell to the Devils 4-2 in an afternoon contest. But for Ottawa (41-31-10) to slide to eighth, the Washington Capitals had to beat the Rangers in New York, while the Florida Panthers needed to grab one point on home ice against the Carolina Hurricanes to secure the Southeast Division crown.

The Caps (42-32-8) got the job done at MSG, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the opening 2:18 en route to a 4-1 triumph. Then an hour later, the Panthers (38-26-18) quelled the Canes 4-1 to finish with 94 points, two better than Washington. And the Capitals held the tiebreaker advantage (regulation/overtime wins) to bump the Senators from seventh down to eighth.

With a 51-24-7 record, the Rangers finished 17 points in front of Ottawa in the final standings. But the Senators took three of four games against the Blueshirts this season, including both meetings at Madison Square Garden — 5-4 in a shootout on Oct. 29 and 3-0 on Jan. 12. At Scotiabank Place, the Rangers edged the Senators 3-2 on Nov. 9 but dropped a 4-1 decision on March 8.

NEW YORK RANGERS (1) vs. OTTAWA SENATORS (8)
(Series A)

Thursday, April 12 —
at New York, 7 p.m. (CBC, Team 1200)
Saturday, April 14 — at New York, 7 p.m. (CBC, Team 1200)
Monday, April 16 — at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m. (CBC, Team 1200)
Wednesday, April 18 — at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m. (CBC, Team 1200)
x-Saturday, April 21 — at New York, 7 p.m. (CBC, Team 1200)
x-Monday, April 23 — at Ottawa, TBD (CBC, Team 1200)
x-Thursday, April 26 — at New York, TBD (CBC, Team 1200)

x — if necessary

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 FLA 56 32 18 6 153 132 70
2 BOS 55 30 19 6 163 150 66
3 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
4 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
5 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
6 OTT 57 25 26 6 159 177 56
7 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
8 TOR 54 20 25 9 127 151 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 57 11 52 3 63
B. Ryan 56 20 26 -5 46
M. Hoffman 53 24 19 3 43
M. Stone 55 17 25 -15 42
M. Zibanejad 56 11 24 -3 35
K. Turris 51 13 17 -13 30
J. Pageau 57 13 10 3 23
Z. Smith 56 12 5 2 17
C. Ceci 50 6 11 -1 17
C. Lazar 52 5 10 1 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 22 19 4 .915 2.85
A. Hammond 3 6 2 .899 3.10