Senators eliminate Rangers from NHL playoffs

Ottawa Senators right wing Chris Neil drops the gloves and throws a punch at New York Rangers winger Tanner Glass on May 6

"It was right there for us", goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said. If MacArthur was just a little bit better at soccer, Kreider would never have been in alone to score.

He'd been especially prolific with seven points in his last three Game 6s.

Ottawa Senators' Mark Stone (61) and Erik Karlsson (65) celebrate with teammates during the third period of Game 6 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series, Tuesday, May 9, 2017, in NY.

What's next: The Senators will face the victor of Wednesday night's second-round Game 7 between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins in what will be the third conference finals appearance in franchise history and first since 2007. Has his play all of a sudden warranted a prime defensive role over, say, Rick Nash?

And now the New York Rangers will wonder not only what might have been but what should have been. "Our desperation has to be better than Game 3, that's for sure", said Senators winger Alex Burrows to the Ottawa Sun. They battled real hard, they played real strong games, and they had that magic.

International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel said Tuesday his organization was in contact with the National Hockey League Players' Association two or three times per week, hoping to work out a solution that will bring the sport's biggest stars to Pyeongchang.

But Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson was very solid this night, nearly always in position and allowing very few rebounds.

Ottawa trailed 2-0 and 4-3 in Game 5, but rallied in both instances.

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"We didn't have two good games here", Boucher said. "We don't expect them to be giving us anything". When the big goals were needed, it was Ottawa who came up clutch.

For just a couple of minutes after Brassard stepped out of the box, Mark Stone gave them a 2-0 head start that would be so big. Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman also beat NY goalie Henrik Lundqvist. Glass is perhaps most responsible for the entry of Neil into the series, having taken liberties with Turris at the end of Game 4, rubbing his hands together in glee when he left the ice.

"The season is on the line but you can't be holding the stick too tight or really getting nervous about it and thinking too much", defenseman Dan Girardi said.

"We had to fight every game, even though we weren't playing the way we wanted in the third and fourth game", Karlsson said.

Lundqvist will have more opportunities and will remain the face and leader of this franchise, but you now have to wonder if this was the final go-around for the Rangers core as currently constituted, the core that went through all of these postseasons the last half-decade plus.

The Rangers were roundly booed off the ice when the opening period finally wound down.

Shot attempts in the third period were 17-5 in New York's favour, although Craig Anderson would play the hero for the remainder of the game. However, it's when shorthanded that Ottawa really played its best hockey to eliminate the Rangers. Things got off to a rocky start as just four minutes into play, Jesper Fast finished off a 3-on-2 rush led by defenseman Brendan Smith. Yes, he's posted a mere.909 save percentage in five games against the Senators, but he's managed a.930 mark throughout the entirety of the playoffs. It was Zibanejad's second of the playoffs. The Ottawa goaltender was awarded an assist on the play. We weren't going to do what we did in (Game 4) here and just give it away the rest of the game, just because all of a sudden (we were) impatient and come back in some other way than our way. But for all intents and purposes, Karlsson's snapshot from the low slot at 15:53 ended the series.

The goal was Zibanejad's second of the playoffs. He then picked up the only assist on Jean-Gabriel Pageau's empty-netter in final seconds of the game.

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