in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 9, 2017 in New York City.

It’s been 10 years since the Ottawa Senators have reached the Eastern Conference Finals. After last night’s game against the New York Rangers, they accomplished the feat for just the third time in franchise history.

Ottawa Senators Conference Finalists for Third Time

Most people outside of Ottawa probably didn’t even think they had a chance to beat the Boston Bruins but they did that in six games. In comes the New Rangers fresh off a tough series win against the Montreal Canadiens. The Senators showed poise by defeating King Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers also in six games.

This team can continue to surprise as they are led by the premier defenseman in the league, Erik Karlsson. He now has 13 points in 12 playoff games. They also have been getting solid goaltending from Craig Anderson. He stopped 37 of 39 shots last night and has played well all playoff long.

The biggest difference with this team from years past is that they have three very well balanced lines and some real firepower. Bobby Ryan has awakened from his season long sleep. Derick Brassard looks like a man possessed. Mike Hoffman is making big plays. Meanwhile Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and Kyle Turris are logging important minutes while playing solid hockey.

Head coach Guy Boucher has the Sens playing up-tempo hockey and taking advantage of their speed, while also being committed to the defensive end of the ice. His coaching was a breathe of fresh air for a team that missed the playoffs last season. Add all that to a team quarterbacked by Karlsson and that makes for a very dangerous squad.

With two very big game 7s on the hop for tonight in both Conferences the Sens will be watching the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals very closely as the winner of that series will be their next opponent.

The Senators also made the Eastern Conference Finals in 2007 and 2003. In 2007, they defeated the Buffalo Sabres before falling to the Anaheim Ducks in the Stanley Cup Final. In 2003 they lost a tough, seven-game series to the New Jersey Devils. The Devils would go on to win the Stanley Cup that year.

 

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