Rangers believe they gave Senators series away

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Look, when a team gets bounced from the playoffs, you’re not often going to describe the locker room as a jovial, party-like atmosphere.

Even so, some teams tend to pepper their assessments with a lot of optimism while others seem like they could be scored by “The Cure.” In the case of the New York Rangers after being eliminated by the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday, their hopes seemed to suffer a disintegration.

Some of the reactions were a little bit more par-for-the-course, like Henrik Lundqvist speaking of a “numb feeling.” The guy’s been through many medium-to-long playoff runs, so he’s probably been here before, though he may also wonder how many more times he’ll get such a solid chance being that he’s already 35.

The dour mood, in a lot of ways, came down to the impression that the Rangers let an opportunity to slip through their fingers. Derek Stepan beat up on himself with extra zeal, even as he also acknowledged the “magic” in Ottawa.

It probably comes as little surprise considering blown leads during the series – Game 6 was the only time Ottawa scored the first goal in a contest – but the theme seemed to be about their own failings.

From the Ottawa Senators’ end, it was a bit more by-the-book, but they probably needed less time to reflect and more to celebrate.