The Ottawa Senators ran out of miracles.
After pulling out to a 3-2 series lead, the Senators had two chances to send the No. 1-seeded New York Rangers packing but couldn't put them away following a 2-1 loss in a dramatic Game 7 Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
While the Senators packed prepared to move onto the next series, the only place they'll be headed is home to pack their bags and head their separate ways after being shut down by Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers.
The Senators were hoping to either head to Philadelphia or Florida to get ready for Round 2. They just weren't able to pull off the upset they needed.
"It's an empty feeling," said Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson. "Especially when the game goes down to the last seconds like it did. Then, all of a sudden, it's over. It feels weird and tough. We played a hard-fought game.
"We played really good, at times, we made a couple of mistakes that cost us. Henrik made some big saves to keep this close. It was a hard-fought series. I thought this game kind of reflected the whole series."
Alfredsson, the club's player and the only able to beat Lundqvist on the 27 shots he faced, isn't sure what's going to happen next year. He wants some time to sit back, relax and think about it.
"I will take some time. I will see how I feel physically and mentally after taking some time off," said Alfredsson. "This year has been unbelievable. I've had a lot of fun. It's been great to be part of a great group of guys. They kept me upbeat and happy when I'm a grumpy old man. They've made this year very enjoyable."
It just didn't finish on an enjoyable note.
Sens can't overcome defensive errors
The Senators couldn't score when they needed a goal the most. A couple of defensive errors allowed Marc Staal and Dan Girardi to beat Craig Anderson, still looking for his first NHL playoff series victory of his career.
"We pushed hard. It all came down to [when] they made good on a couple of chances we gave them," said Anderson. "A couple of mistakes we made they made really good shots on. Other than that, I thought we really battled hard.
"We really made a strong push in the third; we threw out everything we had and we left it out on the table. We just came up a little short."
The Rangers will move on to face the Washington Capitals. That sigh of relief you heard on 34th Street was coming from the New York dressing room, the Rangers were happy to have survived the Senators.
"It was a big battle and we need everybody to do it," said Lundqvist. "It was back and forth the whole series and they played well. They played hard and they made it tough for us, but we knew it was going to be tough.
"We were up there in the standings because we were consistent this year. To finish strong here in Game 7, is a good feeling."
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