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East’s top eight is set: Senators guarantee postseason spot in OT

Apr 25, 2013, 9:57 PM EDT

erikkarlssonbackgetty Getty Images

For at least one night, the Ottawa Senators look like geniuses for inserting Erik Karlsson back into their lineup. They also pose a much more worrisome threat as one of the East’s eight playoff teams.

The Senators punched their ticket to the postseason with a 2-1 OT win against the Capitals. While the scoreboard argues that it was a close game, Ottawa out-shot Washington 41-20 in a game the squad needed much more.

Karlsson said there were “a lot of things” that were wrong with his game in Thursday’s return, but it certainly doesn’t seem that way in the box score. The 22-year-old collected assists on both Senators goals (one by Jakob Silfverberg, the winner by Sergei Gonchar) and almost as impressively racked up eight shots on goal. He topped all skaters with more than 27 minutes on ice.

That last bit might make people like Travis Zajac nervous, but so far the gamble has paid off.

This win kills the Winnipeg Jets’ playoff hopes, whether they beat the Montreal Canadiens tonight or not.

Now all that’s left to fight for is seeding. As of this writing, here are the eight East playoff teams in order of current standing position:

1. Pittsburgh
2. Boston
3. Washington
4. Montreal
5. Toronto
6. NY Rangers
7. NY Islanders
8. Ottawa

  1. rushledger - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    We just couldn’t have playoffs in the east without a rangers and capitals match up, it’s all but tradition at this point.

    • thetrents - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:51 PM

      Who’s to say it isn’t the Isles who play the Caps this year? Ya never know!

  2. mp1113 - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    Seriously. Caps rangers again. What else is new. Always a great series. LETS GO CAPS

  3. hooockey - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    Wrong. The sens are 6th. They win the current tiebreak with the 2 ny teams by having played 1 less game. And if the season ends with all 3 tied it goes

    6 NYR. Most ROW
    7 OTT. Same ROW as NYI but win 2nd tiebreak by winning season series vs NYI
    8 NYI.

    Check your facts, article writer.

    • 19to77 - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:30 AM

      Man, I hope NYI ends up in eighth. There’s been some bad blood between the Pens and Isles these last few years – and old feuds make for GREAT playoff series.

    • jpelle82 - Apr 26, 2013 at 11:43 AM

      ya islanders are now in the 8 spot. they dont wanna see the pens thats for sure. islanders dont matchup well at all. pens could roll cooke sutter morrow against the tavares line all day and dominate with their crosby then malkin lines against the islanders depth guys. tavares and company had 4 goals in 5 games this year against the pens and the pens out scored them 20-11 in five games for a 4-1-0 season series. islanders want the caps or should be rooting for mtl too if they end up with the 7 spot. ott’s still got 2 games left and the rangers have nj who could easily spoil them. islanders should beat buffalo to better their chances of getting out of that 8 spot.

  4. hooockey - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    I should mention if sens win out its caps vs sens.

    • jdubs316 - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:27 PM

      I should mention, if the Sens win out AND Toronto gets a point against Montreal, it would be Caps vs Sens.

      Check your facts. commentator.

  5. thedavesiknowiknow - Apr 26, 2013 at 4:47 AM

    4 of the “original 6” in the east- with Chicago in, and Detroit only needing a point to close it out. Should be a nice playoff.

  6. buffalomafia - Apr 26, 2013 at 7:08 AM

    Boston vs Pitt conference finals?

    • 8man - Apr 26, 2013 at 8:12 AM

      Easy chief. The Bs have a second seed to earn and a lot to prove. They’ll get their chance against two playoff teams this weekend.

  7. steelcityfranchise - Apr 26, 2013 at 8:23 AM

    Wait…where is Filthadelphia?!?

    • President Charles Logan - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:22 PM

      Where else would they be? getting ready to extend both Laviolette and Bryzgalov to longer contracts

  8. hockeywithdrawal - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    I’d LOVE to see Pens and Sens in Round 1. Not too much bad blood there, eh?

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