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Rangers vs Senators - 2012 Stanley Cup Conference Quarterfinals

Phillips working with a wealth of playoff know-how

Erin Nicks - Correspondent

KANATA, Ont. -- Veteran defenseman Chris Phillips played in his 100th postseason game on Monday night, and in his 12 years of playoff participation, the Ottawa Senators blueliner has garnered plenty of memories while chasing Lord Stanley's infamous mug.

"There's some big moments in there," Phillips said. "My first series was when were seeded eighth and we beat New Jersey [in 1998]. That was huge for us and huge for the city. The excitement that was in [Ottawa] after we won was unbelievable.

"For me, scoring in overtime in Game 6 against the Devils in the [2003 Eastern] Conference Finals was a big goal and memorable for me. The year we went to the Stanley Cup Finals [against the Anaheim Ducks in 2007] was obviously big, too. If there was any part that blended together, it was those three or four years when it seemed like we played Toronto every year and came up on the wrong end."

The Sens' current series has been another to remember for Phillips. No one expected Ottawa to participate in this year's postseason, and as the club's group of veterans and fresh-faced young players banded together, they clawed their way into the eighth seed. The top-seeded New York Rangers lead their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series 2-1, but Phillips has been doing this a long time -- he knows the team has to stay the course.

Senators seeking more production from top line

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

KANATA, Ott. -- Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek were the Ottawa Senators' two most-productive forwards during the regular season, combining for 69 goals in 157 games.

During the first three games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the New York Rangers, however, the duo has been almost invisible. Spezza and Michalek have combined for two assists, both of which came during Game 1 after the contest had long since been decided.

The Senators trail the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series 2-1 with Game 4 set for Wednesday night at Scotiabank Place. All three games have been tightly contested, but the Senators' top line that has featured Spezza and Michalek along with a cavalcade of third parties throughout the series has been mostly ineffective.

Spezza and Michalek had just four shots in a 1-0 loss in Game 3, and Spezza knows the difference between winning and losing a series and a low-scoring game like that can be how the top line produces.

Senators feel Alfredsson's absence in Game 3 loss

Erin Nicks - Correspondent

KANATA, Ont. -- Daniel Alfredsson was out of the lineup for only the third time in the 112 playoff games the Ottawa Senators have played in their history. It's safe to say his teammates were missing their captain Monday night.

Alfredsson was labeled as a game-time decision prior to Game 3 after being knocked out of Saturday's game with a concussion after a blow to the head by the New York RangersCarl Hagelin. He took part in in the morning skate but was unable to dress for Ottawa's first home game in the Senators' Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Rangers.

Veteran defenseman Chris Phillips wore the "C" in Alfredsson’s absence and conceded that there was no real replacement for Alfredsson, but wasn't about to blame his absence for the 1-0 loss.

Lundqvist shines for Rangers in Game 3

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

KANATA, Ont. -- Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist wasn't at his best in March and April, going 9-6-1 with a 2.59 goals-against average and .895 save percentage, by far his worst monthly totals in what could be a season that merits a Vezina Trophy.

That's all changed during the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Ottawa Senators.

After playing well during the series' first two games Madison Square Garden, Lundqvist delivered a virtuoso performance in Game 3, stopping 39 shots in the Rangers' 1-0 victory at Scotiabank Place to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.\

Alfredsson out of Game 3

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

Daniel Alfredsson
Right Wing - OTT
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 1
SOG: 6 | +/-: -2
KANATA, Ont. -- The Ottawa Senators will be without their leader Monday night, as captain Daniel Alfredsson will not be in the lineup for Game 3 against the New York Rangers.

Alfredsson took an elbow to the head during Game 2 of this Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series from Rangers rookie Carl Hagelin, who was suspended three games for the infraction.

The 39-year-old took part in the Senators game-day skate, but was ruled out about an hour before faceoff due to a concussion.

The best-of-seven series is tied at 1-1 with Game 4 scheduled for Wednesday night at Scotiabank Place.

NHL fines Sens' Konopka, club for pre-game conduct

NEW YORK -- Ottawa Senators forward Zenon Konopka has been fined $2,500, the maximum allowed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and his club fined $10,000 for Konopka's conduct prior to Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarter-Final at New York on Saturday. April 14, the National Hockey League announced today.

Konopka was fined for his verbal abuse directed at a New York Rangers player conducting a live television interview nearby during pre-game warm-ups.

The Konopka fine money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund, while the club fine goes to the NHL Foundation.

Teammates feel Kreider more than ready if needed

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

KANATA, Ont. -- If New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider makes his NHL debut against the Ottawa Senators on Monday night in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series, teammate Brian Boyle doesn't have much in the way of advice of how to get quickly acclimated.

In Boyle's NHL debut with the Los Angeles Kings on February 2, 2008, he wasn't at the rink until the game had long since started.

"I was late. I got there with 12 minutes left in the first," said Boyle, whose Kings lost 6-3 in New Jersey that night. "We drove down. The driver got lost. I got a goal and an assist and I was really psyched. It was an emergency call-up from Manchester. I was in panic mode."

Senators feel loss of Alfredsson despite OT win

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- The Ottawa Senators lost captain Daniel Alfredsson on Saturday night after a blow to the head from New York Rangers rookie Carl Hagelin during Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series.

Alfredsson left the game during the second period and did not return. The Rangers, meanwhile, may be without Hagelin, who was assessed a five-minute major for elbowing on the play, for Game 3 on Monday night in Ottawa. Hagelin is scheduled to have a hearing with the NHL on Sunday afternoon.

Rangers coach John Tortorella said afterward Saturday night's 3-2 overtime loss that Hagelin shouldn't be suspended for the hit, citing a similar penalized elbow from Senators defenseman Chris Phillips to the head of Rangers captain Ryan Callahan.

Carkner, Dubinsky ejected from Game 2

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean made a last-minute lineup change Saturday night before Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Rangers, inserting some grit in the form of forward Zenon Konopka and defenseman Matt Carkner.

Carkner packed a punch on his first shift, and it helped change the tenor of the game, a 3-2 overtime win for the Senators that evened the best-of-seven series at 1-1.

After delivering a clean check to Rangers forward Brian Boyle at the 2:15 mark, Carkner dropped his gloves and punched Boyle down to the ice, where he continued to connect with punches. Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky was the first player to the pile, then everyone paired off during the wild fracas.

Rangers' Hagelin to have hearing on Sunday

New York Rangers forward Carl Hagelin will have a hearing with the NHL on Sunday afternoon following his second-period hit on Ottawa's Daniel Alfredsson.

Hagelin was given a major penalty for elbowing at 10:32 of the second period of the Senators' 3-2 overtime win after driving Alfredsson's head into the glass. The Ottawa captain went to the dressing room and did not return.

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