It was a valiant effort by the Ottawa Senators and just getting to the playoffs was an accomplishment.
They didn't really lose the series in Game 7 because they were playing catch-up all game, as much as they did in the second period of Game 6. In that game, they have a 1-0 lead on home ice when Milan Michalek took a penalty and the Rangers scored a power play goal to tie the game.
Then there is the controversial goaltender interference penalty on Nick Foligno and while he was in the penalty box, Brad Richards scored on the 5-on-3 advantage to take a 2-1 lead. Late in the same period, they gave up another goal to go down 3-1 and they weren't able to recover.
They had an opportunity in Game 7 and they really gave a great accounting of themselves. In the third period, the Rangers were hanging on for dear life and the Senators kept coming wave after wave. But if you're looking for a turning point in the series, it was the second period of Game 6 on home ice when they had the lead but couldn't nail it down.
One Goal Short
The enduring image for many who watched the Devils' Game 7 win will be the face of John Madden of the Florida Panthers. Madden took it, not on the chin, but right on the face from Tomas Kopecky in a collision. Madden had a solid game and almost came close to ending it in the Panthers' favour.
Regardless, it was a whale of a year for the Panthers. Last summer, general manager Dale Tallon starting signing guys all over the place and trading for guys like Brian Campbell and Kris Versteeg, in what looked like salary dumps.
However, they turned out to be some pretty impressive hockey players. The Panthers put it all together, all the different parts, and won a division and came within a hair of going to the second round.