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Playoff Buzz: Senators look to reach Eastern Conference Final

Ottawa can advance with win against Rangers, become first road team with victory during series

NHL.com @NHL

Welcome to the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoff Buzz, your daily look at the stories impacting the 2016-17 postseason. The playoffs continue Tuesday with one game. NHL.com writers covering the playoffs will be checking in throughout the day to give you latest news, including the site of the game. Here is the playoff news for Tuesday:

 

5:08 p.m.
Rangers in survival mode

 

The New York Rangers and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist will look to keep their season alive with a win against the Ottawa Senators in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

The Senators lead the best-of-7 series 3-2 despite allowing the first goal in the first five games of the series and holding a lead for just 13:10 of the series. The Rangers' lineup will remain the same, but Senators coach Guy Boucher may make a change at forward. That won't be determined until after warmups.

Six of the eight games between the Rangers and Senators in 2016-17, including three regular-season games, have been decided by two goals or fewer.

Deputy managing editor Brian Compton has the projected line combinations in his 5 Keys To Game 6.

The Rangers are confident heading into an elimination game in front of their fans, according to staff writer Amalie Benjamin.

4:58 p.m.
Oilers understand Ducks' mindset

 

The Edmonton Oilers know what it feels like to be on the losing end of a lopsided playoff score, so they know what the Anaheim Ducks' thought process will be heading into Game 7 of the Western Conference Second Round.

The Oilers beat the Ducks 7-1 in Game 6 on Sunday. They lost 7-0 to the San Jose Sharks in Game 4 of their first-round series, but rebounded to win the next two games and the series in six games.

"I've always kind of said that in the playoffs, game-to-game, it's always a different story," Oilers captain Connor McDavid said, reports correspondent Derek Van Diest. "It doesn't matter how we won Game 6, it just matters that we won and we get an opportunity to play Game 7."

Game 7 will be at Honda Center in Anaheim on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).

11:14 a.m.
Senators look to advance

The Ottawa Senators have an opportunity to advance to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since 2007 when they play the New York Rangers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports). The Senators lead the best-of-7 series 3-2.

The home team has won each of the first five games in the series, including two overtime wins by the Senators. The Rangers have won 15 of the past 20 playoff games when facing elimination since Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Senators. The Rangers won the last two games to win that series in seven games.

New York will be playing with desperation and will need veteran goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to be at his very best, writes NHL.com senior writer Dan Rosen. Lundqvist is 4-2 with a 1.50 goals-against average and .947 save percentage in six career NHL playoff home games against Ottawa.

The Senators, who lost by identical 4-1 scores in Game 3 and Game 4 at MSG last week, are focused on a solid opening 10 minutes before settling into their game, reports staff writer Mike G. Morreale.

Video: A preview of Game 6 between the Sens and Rangers

 

9:13 a.m.
Capitals, Penguins headed to Game 7

The Washington Capitals did not let history repeat itself. Now they are trying to make their own history.

Washington kept its season alive when it won Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Monday. That's something it couldn't do last season. The win sets up a Game 7 at Verizon Center in Washington on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports) with a trip to the Eastern Conference Final on the line.

The winner of that game will play the winner of the second-round series between the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators. The Senators lead that best-of-7 series 3-2, with Game 6 at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Here's a look at what happened Monday:

Washington Capitals 5, Pittsburgh Penguins 2

Last year in a similar situation -- Game 6 of the second round on the round -- the Capitals lost to the Penguins, ending their season. They didn't have that problem this year. Forward Andre Burakovsky scored two goals for the Capitals, who jumped to a 5-0 lead on their way to a second straight win in the series. Forwards T.J. Oshie and Nicklas Backstrom, and defenseman John Carlson, also scored for the Capitals, who last played a Game 7 in the 2015 Eastern Conference Second Round, a 2-1 loss the Rangers. The Penguins defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final last season.

Staff writer Tom Gulitti writes about the Capitals needing to finish the job Wednesday.

Columnist Nick Cotsonika writes that the Penguins' chances of repeating as Stanley Cup champions appears to be in serious jeopardy

Video: Capitals force Game 7 with 5-2 win against Penguins

 

Here are some things we learned on Day 27 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

Capitals found their confidence

After struggling to score on Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for much of the first four games and trailing 3-1 in the best-of-7 series, the Capitals scored a combined nine goals in winning Game 5 (4-2) and Game 6 (5-2). Since the start of the third period of Game 5, they've outscored the Penguins 8-2. But they need to carry that into Game 7 at Verizon Center on Wednesday to complete their comeback.

Penguins' flaws are catching up with them

Fleury covered most of the Penguins' mistakes in the first four games, but in the past two they have caught up to him and them. They've missed defenseman Kris Letang (season-ending neck surgery) and his puck-moving skill the entire series, and with defenseman Trevor Daley (lower body) now out too, breaking the puck out of their zone cleanly has become even more difficult. In addition, center Sidney Crosby, who was dominant in the first two games of the series before coming out of Game 3 because of a concussion and missing Game 4, has not looked like the same player in the past two games.

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