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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, 07.04.2012 / 10:09 PM / 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 DET 48 28 11 9 144 123 65
2 TBL 49 30 15 4 158 131 64
3 MTL 46 30 13 3 126 108 63
4 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
5 FLA 45 20 15 10 111 127 50
6 TOR 49 22 23 4 143 152 48
7 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
8 BUF 48 14 31 3 90 171 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
B. Ryan 43 12 21 7 33
E. Karlsson 46 11 22 -5 33
K. Turris 46 9 20 -8 29
M. Stone 44 11 15 9 26
M. Hoffman 43 16 9 19 25
C. MacArthur 45 13 11 -7 24
M. Zibanejad 44 11 12 1 23
D. Legwand 45 7 12 -4 19
A. Chiasson 43 7 10 -8 17
M. Michalek 42 6 9 -7 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 13 11 7 .927 2.37
R. Lehner 6 7 2 .900 3.16