Apr 1, 2012; Uniondale, NY, USA; Ottawa Senators left wing Milan Michalek (9) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the second period against the New York Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE
One team from Canada had to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. The Ottawa Senators were happy to oblige. The Senators clinched their first postseason berth in two years after defeating the New York Islanders, 5-1, Sunday.
Kyle Turris scored twice for Ottawa, which will attempt to advance past the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2007. More impressively, the Sens did it without captain Daniel Alfredsson, who is suffering from an illness, and Jason Spezza, who was celebrating the birth of his child. Milan Michalek, Nick Foligno and Sergei Gonchar helped fill the void.
Meanwhile, the Islanders have not made the postseason since 2007 and will have to watch from home yet again. The Sens will likely hold the seventh seed, while the Washington Capitals, Buffalo Sabres or Florida Panthers will fill the eighth and final spot in the East.