Nothing to do but scoreboard-watch for the rest of the night. Ottawa had their chance to control their fate, but lost their lead midway through the 3rd period, going down to the New Jersey Devils 4-2. Break out the chips ‘n pop.
Heading into the match, it was learned that Chris Neil did not make the trip to East Rutherford today as a result of his freak spill into the boards during practice yesterday. They’re saying he’ll be good to go next week for the start of the first round. Most notably, David Clarkson was out of the lineup for New Jersey. Both teams iced their best line-ups possible today in prep for the third season.
Anderson (31-34)and Brodeur (31-33) were on their game, making good and timely saves to keep their teams in. Petr Sykora missed on a glorious chance to tie the score on a two-on-one in the second, but moments later tied the score at 2-2 on a 5-on-1 on the powerplay. In the third, the Devils took control, with Stephen Gionta’s first NHL goal. Ilya Kovalchuk iced the game away with an empty-netter for his second of the game.
For the Sens’s part, Matt Gilroy played solid, with a goal and an assist and going +2. Rounding things out, Jim O’Brien scored his 3rd for the Sens.
So now, the scoop. Washington plays the NY Rangers at 7:30. And Carolina visits Florida at 7:30. If Washington only gains one point,Ottawa is 7th and meets Boston in the first round. If Washington gains 2 points and Florida gains only 1, again, Ottawa is 7th. If Washington and Florida gain 2 points, Ottawa is 8th and meets NYR.
No matter what, it’s been one heck of a regular season.