It was the game that time forgot. The lone straggler on a Sunday that was supposed to be nothing but a playoff-prep day. Thanks to the grim realities of life outside the National Hockey League, however, the game between the Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins was rescheduled from its original date to Sunday, and so everybody had to wait until it was over to know what the playoffs in the East would look like.
The Senators controlled their own playoff destiny heading into the game. If they came away with zero points they'd finish in eighth and have to face the mighty Penguins in the opening round. If they managed a single point, they would score a series against the Bruins. An outright win would hand them the Montreal Canadiens.
After dominating the first half of the game and moving out to a 2-0 lead, the Senators gave up two goals in around 20 seconds of playing time at the very end of the second and beginning of the third periods, and the score was tied at two.
The contest stayed tied until late in the third, when Ottawa's Jean-Gabriel Pageau gave the Senators the lead with about three minutes to go, scoring on the rebound of a Marc Methot shot. Ottawa would add an empty-net goal, and the Senators downed the Bruins by a final score of 4-2.
Ottawa's regulation victory earned them a first-round series against the Montreal Canadiens. It also bumped the Islanders down to the eighth seed to face the mighty Penguins. The Bruins will face the Maple Leafs and the Capitals will face the Rangers in the other Eastern series.
- The Senators went up 2-0 after Jared Cowen's first goal in more than a calendar year:
The last time Jared Cowen scored a goal was March 4, 2012. Twenty-one games. #Sens— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) April 29, 2013
- The contest was physical early, with a heavyweight bout between Milan Lucic and Chris Neil punctuating the first period.
- Brad Marchand went after Erik Karlsson at the end of the first, hitting him after the end-of-period horn and incurring a slashing penalty for the cheap-shot.
- Ottawa's Chris Phillips suffered an injury early in the first period and didn't return to the game, but GM Bryan Murray reported that it was a minor problem and he would be fine.
- The Bruins are limping into the playoffs having won just twice in their final nine games.