For at least one round, the Ottawa Senators will avoid the East’s juggernaut in the Pittsburgh Penguins. Not all of Canada might be happy, though, as Sunday’s 4-2 Senators win against the Boston Bruins takes a fascinating Montreal Canadiens-Toronto Maple Leafs series off the table.*
Robin Lehner was the star of the show, stopping 34 out of 36 shots for his fifth win of the season (avoiding a Bruins season sweep of the Sens in the process). Little-known forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored the game-winner and also collected an assist.
This regulation loss hands the Northeast Division title to the Canadiens. They probably won’t pat the Senators on the back for too long, however, as they’ll host Ottawa in the second vs. seventh seed series.
Meanwhile, the Bruins stay seated in the fourth seed, drawing the Maple Leafs in the process. It might not have the pizzazz of Habs-Leafs, yet the Bruins and Leafs have a robust rivalry in their own right.
Then again, Canada still gets a clash to delight in, as that Habs-Sens series should provide plenty of venom in its own right.
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* – For now?