Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rangers, Devils Advance

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rangers, Devils Advance

Article excerpt

Once the Ottawa Senators failed to knock out the top-seeded New York Rangers when they had the chance at home in Game 6, the chances for a big-time upset collapsed around them.

New York had the best record in the Eastern Conference in the regular seasonand the second-best overall mark in the NHL, but it didn't matter after the eighth-seeded Senators topped the Rangers in Game 5 to put them on the brink of elimination. The Senators just couldn't finish the job. Given one more chance to move onto the second round, Ottawa came up a bit short in New York Thursday night and dropped a 2-1 heartbreaker in Game 7.

"We put ourselves in a good position going home. We couldn't get it done," forward Jason Spezza said. "It's a tough loss. We really thought we could win the series. We felt like we had a chance to beat these guys. It's really disappointing right now. We had chances to tie it up."

With two road wins in three tries in the series and four victories at Madison Square Garden this season, the Senators had every right to believe they could win Game 7.

Ottawa trailed, 2-0 in the second period, got within a goal later in the period when Daniel Alfredsson scored, but couldn't score again against Henrik Lundqvist despite intense pressure late in the game.

"We felt good about coming here, and we knew it wasn't going to be easy," Spezza said.

For the first time since 1996, no Canadian-based NHL teams advanced to the second round.

Other game

* Devils 3, Panthers 2: Adam Henrique scored his second goal of the game at 3:47 of the second overtime, and visiting New Jersey beat Florida in Game 7 early Friday to advance to second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Devils wasted a 2-0 lead in the third period, then recovered and earned a matchup with Philadelphia in Round 2. It was the Devils' first series win since 2007. …

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