Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Sports

Senators top Bruins to set final seeds in East

BOSTON — Senators forward Daniel Alfredsson said he always has wanted to face the Canadiens in the playoffs.

That's the first-round matchup Ottawa got by beating the Bruins 4-2 in the NHL's rescheduled regular-season finale Sunday night to earn the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference.

As a bonus, the Senators got to avoid the top-seeded Penguins.

"We talked about mostly finishing better than last year," Alfredsson said. "We were eighth last year, so to win here the last game and finish seventh, it feels really good. We improved on last year, and that's what we wanted."

Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored the tiebreaking goal with 3:34 to play to help Ottawa win the game that was originally scheduled for April 15, the day of the Boston Marathon bombings.

It was the only game Sunday. The rest of the league wrapped up the season by Saturday.

The playoffs begin Tuesday.

The game set the East's final seedings. The Senators' victory dropped the Islanders into eighth and a first-round series against the Penguins. The Bruins, who could have won the Northeast Division and earned a No. 2 seed with a win, finished fourth. They play the Maple Leafs in the first round.

"You want to get the No. 2 spot, but at the end, it doesn't matter," said Boston defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, who scored 14 seconds into the third period to tie it 2-all.

"We still have home-ice advantage in the first round, and the first round is always the toughest one to get out of. Everything else doesn't matter now."

housecleanings: The Avalanche, which finished next-to-last in the league, fired coach Joe Sacco, and vice president of hockey operations Eric Lacroix, son of team president Pierre Lacroix, left the organization. Sacco just finished his fourth season, going 130-134-30. He reached the postseason once, in his first year. "The organization believes a change of leadership behind the bench is needed going forward," general manager Greg Sherman said. … The Stars fired GM Joe Nieuwendyk after four seasons, two coaches and no playoff appearances. Owner Tom Gaglardi said in a statement the team must go "in a different direction" to return to the league's elite. The new GM will be announced today. The Stars refused to comment on reports it will be longtime Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill.

Around the league: The Sabres are raising ticket prices 4 percent next season and told season-ticket holders in a letter the new collective bargaining agreement is the reason. Because of the labor deal a lockout was needed to achieve, "all teams must produce revenue primarily through ticket sales in order to keep the stability of the league and its franchises strong," vice president of tickets and services John Sinclair wrote.

Senators1124
at Bruins0112

First Period1, Ott, Condra 4 (Pageau, Conacher), 16:59. PenaltiesWiercioch, Ott (hooking), 2:53; Soderberg, Bos (tripping), 7:25; Neil, Ott, major (fighting), 18:36; Lucic, Bos, major (fighting), 18:36; Marchand, Bos (slashing), 20:00.

Second Period2, Ott, Cowen 1 (Turris, Gonchar), 10:33. 3, Bos, Peverley 6 (Redden, Seidenberg), 19:56 (pp). PenaltiesCondra, Ott (interference), 2:20; Thornton, Bos (trip), 2:20; Conacher, Ott (hold), 18:00.

Third Period4, Bos, Seidenberg 4 (Lucic, Daugavins), :14. 5, Ott, Pageau 2 (Methot, Karlsson), 16:26. 6, Ott, Turris 12 (Karlsson, Alfredsson), 19:23 (en). PenaltiesNone. Shots on GoalOtt 9-9-4—22. Bos 13-16-7—36. Power-play opportunitiesOtt 0 of 2; Bos 1 of 2. GoaliesOtt, Lehner 5-3-4 (36 shots-34 saves). Bos, Rask 19-10-5 (21-18). A17,565 (17,565). T2:35. Referees—Chris Rooney, Steve Kozari. LinesmenTim Nowak, Derek Amell.

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