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NHL East Notes

April 27, 2012

After one goal wins by the Washington Capitals, New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils, the Eastern Conference semi finals are set in the NHL. The top ranked Rangers will face Washington while 5th seed Philadelphia opens at home vs the 6th seed, New Jersey Devils.

The Capitals ousted the defending champion Bruins in 7 games winning on Joel Ward’s goal in overtime. Caps coach Dale Hunter once scored an overtime goal for the Caps in a 7th game and he also scored an overtime goal in a decisive 5th game for Quebec in 1982. Hunter was still with Quebec when they won 3 games at Montreal including the 5th and 7th games to win a quarterfinal series in 1985. In the just completed series, the Caps won three at Boston including the 5th and 7th games. The Bruins have won 6 Stanley Cups and only once in 1930 have they won a playoff series in the following season. They have never repeated as Stanley Cup Champions.

The Caps opponents, the New York Rangers, are now (4-0) in home 7th games while they are (0-5) in road 7th games. Since the top ranked Canucks are out of the playoffs, the Rangers are the highest ranked team remaining and any 7th game this year would be at home. The Rangers won 2-1 vs Ottawa in the first round 7th game. The Ottawa Senators are (0-5) in 7th games and have never won a Stanley Cup.

Philadelphia is one of only three remaining teams that has ever won the Stanley Cup. They last won it all in 1975 while their opponent New Jersey last won in 2003. The Flyers upset the Penguins in the first round while the Devils got a goal from Adam Henrique in the 2nd overtime of the 7th game to beat the Florida Panthers. As is the case with the Senators, Florida lost in its only NHL Finals appearance. They were swept by Colorado in 1996 while the Senators managed just one win vs Anaheim in the 2007 Finals.

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