NHL News and Notes May - 20

NHL News and Notes May - 20

Hockey Today
May 20, 2007

No games scheduled

- Dany Heatley, Senators, had a goal and two assists to led Ottawa to a 3-2 overtime win over Buffalo.

Ottawa is in the Stanley Cup finals for the first time after posting a 3-2 overtime victory over the top-seeded Buffalo, sealing the Eastern Conference finals in five games on Saturday. The Senators, making their 10th postseason appearance since returning as an expansion franchise in 1992-93, had lost in their previous Conference finals showing in 2003 to New Jersey.

Ottawa, after advancing to the Stanley Cup finals on Saturday, will hope to achieve what Calgary (2004) and Edmonton (2006) failed to do in the last two championship finals, bring the Cup home to Canada. No Canadian team has won Lord Stanley's prize since Montreal in 1993. The original Senators franchise won it 80 years ago in 1927.

This will be not be the first time that Ottawa has hosted the Stanley Cup. The original Senators franchise - which moved 73 years ago to become the St. Louis Eagles before folding after the 1934-35 season - was the most successful of the league's four founding teams. In 1927, the Senators faced Boston in the first showdown for hockey's ultimate trophy contested solely between NHL teams.

Tampa Bay re-signed goalie Johan Holmqvist to a one-year contract on Saturday. A native of Sweden, Holmqvist replaced Marc Denis as the Lightning's starting goalie late in the season and was in goal for all six playoff games as Tampa Bay was eliminated in the first round by New Jersey. Holmqvist appeared in a career-high 48 games during the regular season, going 27-15-3 and led the team with a 2.85 goals-against average.

``I believe they've got a good shot. Their top line is rolling on all cylinders. Their group of defensemen is really doing the job. They're getting timely goals from everyone. It seems everything is in line for them to win it. It's just tough to swallow right now. I really believed this was our year.'' - Buffalo forward Daniel Briere after the Sabres were eliminated with a 3-2 overtime loss to Ottawa in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Saturday.

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