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Ottawa built off last year’s Game 7 disappointment

May 10, 2013, 8:31 AM EDT

Montreal Canadiens vs. Ottawa Senators -- Game 5 Getty Images

MONTREAL,QUEBEC — Watching the Ottawa Senators roll past a beat up and depleted Montreal Canadiens team in five games was an upset when going by the seeding, but their rise to success this year was built in part by what this team learned last year.

The Sens nearly pulled off a stunning upset last season as the eighth seed against the East’s No. 1 team, the New York Rangers. They pushed them to seven games before ultimately coming up short in the final game. The lessons learned from that loss stuck with this year’s team.

“We’ve got a lot of guys that have come up the last few years and it’s a great experience,” captain Daniel Alfredsson said. “I think we learned what it takes in the playoffs. It’s physical, it’s mentally tough, and it’s a grind. I think we were definitely ready for that. I thought we did a good job last year too but it seems that this year we’re a little bit better as a team and that helps.”

The Sens weren’t pushed to the brink in this series, but as goalie Craig Anderson says, last year’s loss helped them figure out what’s needed to get done.

“You grow every time you get knocked down you get back up and you learn from it,” he said. “It was huge for us to learn from our mistakes.”

Defenseman Erik Karlsson summed it up a little more directly.

“We know how much it sucks to lose certain games and it feels good to be on the other side,” he said.

The Sens now wait to see how the rest of the Eastern Conference plays out and a date in the second round with the Pittsburgh Penguins looms large. If they thought a series with a rival like the Canadiens was heated, they haven’t seen anything yet.

  1. The Hockey Fan - May 10, 2013 at 8:40 AM

    Pageau Pageau Pageau Pageau Pageau Pageau!

  2. girouxed - May 10, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    Everyone knew the Habs would choke. And the sens are done next round too. If its not Pitt and Chi in the final it’s Pitt and SJ

  3. idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 10, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    OTT is going to be the sleeper of this year’s playoffs. Not saying they’re going to win it all but they’re getting hot at the right time and will push any team they face to the brink.

    OTT is the team I wouldn’t want to play right now.

  4. scoocha - May 10, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    So happy they knocked out Canadiens after that ridiculous suspension from a perfectly clean hit. Glad Subban is done for year.

    • hockeywithdrawal - May 10, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      I’m sure his mouth is still running, though.

  5. sens101 - May 10, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    you should hear the excuses habs fans are coming up with as to why they lost…injuried, refs etc etc. It’s quite comical. The funniest part is a buddy of mine at the office (in ottawa) bet me $50 that the habs were going to win. This guy is the biggest habs fan around, even the hood of his car has a custom habs paint job!!! lol, anyway he told me that the “nhl” owes me money not him haha and he has to wear a sens jersey at work all day on monday. I can’t wait.

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