The Ottawa Senators know they are going to the post season. The Ottawa Senators know they will be playing in either New York City or Boston when the playoffs begin for them Wednesday or Thursday night. While some might be secretly hoping for a Senators loss and an Ottawa win to drop to face the Rangers, others cannot bring themselves to do so and say “Bring on the Bruins.”
With New Jersey locked in 6th place waiting to face either Washington or Florida, the key for both teams is to get through the game with no injuries.
The First Period
After a sluggish start, Matt Gilroy put a seemingly harmless shot on goal from the boards that Martin Brodeur mis-played and the puck snuck through him for his goal as a Senator. During a Daniel Alfredsson penatly, Ilya Kovalchuk evened the score by crossing the slot and firing a low wrister back to the far side, beating Craig Anderson.
The Second Period
The story of the 2nd was Anderson, who was left on an island in many situations and he turned them all away. Jim O’Brien broke the deadlock, putting a snap shot over Brodeur’s shoulder off a cross ice pass by Erik Condra. Finally Anderson couldn’t do it all by himself, and on a 5 on 1 power play rush, New Jersey evened up the game on a goal by Petr Sykora.
The Third Period
Ottawa didn’t mount much of an effort in the third, and a Stephen Gionta’s first career goal was the difference as Kovalchuk sealed the deal with an empty netter as the Sens fall 4-2 to the Devils.
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Senshot’s 3 Stars
3. Martin Brodeur – Made 31 saves for his 31st victory of the season
2. Craig Anderson – for the first half of the game was the only reason the Senators were still in striking difference.
1. Ilya Kovalchuk – Scored a pair of goals for the winning side
Erik Karlsson was held pointless for the third time in his last 4 games. He finishes the season short of the 80 point mark, settling with 19 goals and 59 assists for 78 points.
Ottawa will have to wait a few hours to see what their destination will be this week. A Washington win will put them in 8th place, while a Caps loss/OT loss keeps the Sens in 7th.
Although it wasn’t a win, the team appeared to get through injury free, and should enter the playoffs as healthy as possible.