Tuesday, May 6, 2003

Senators eliminate Flyers 5-1


Ottawa no longer a postseason flop

The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA - By erasing memories of playoff flops and financial woes, the Ottawa Senators have landed a step away from the Stanley Cup finals.

Known more for failing as postseason favorites recently, and for going bankrupt in this one, the Senators have reached the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in their 11-year history.

Ottawa scored twice in the first period and twice in the second to overwhelm the Philadelphia Flyers 5-1 Monday night and qualify for the NHL's final four.

"We never had any doubts that we could do it," captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "We haven't been afraid to talk about going all the way. We've been a little more cocky than we have before, but in a good way."

Peter Schaefer got the Senators going less than three minutes in, and Mike Fisher also scored in the first period. Alfredsson and Bryan Smolinski added second-period goals to make it a rout. Wade Redden had two assists, and Patrick Lalime was sturdy in making 18 saves.

Ottawa had never won a series as the higher seed before beating the Islanders in the first round.

"You can't look too far ahead, we want to get to the finals," Alfredsson said. "We're probably going to have to play even better than we have so far."

Beginning with the conference final against New Jersey.

The Sens filed for bankruptcy protection this season and were delayed in paying players at New Year's. They shrugged that off this season, in which they earned the most points in the NHL (113). They ousted the Flyers from the playoffs for the second straight year, this time in six games.

"Anybody that knows hockey that saw Game 5 knew we were running out of gas," Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said. "Once they got the lead, our lack of energy started to show."

NHL at a glance

CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS

Monday's games

Ottawa 5, Philadelphia 1; Senators win series 4-2.

Anaheim 4, Dallas 3; Mighty Ducks win series 4-2.

Minnesota 7, Vancouver 2; Canucks lead series 3-2.

Wednesday's game

Vancouver at Minn., 9 p.m.

Thursday's game

Minnesota at Vancouver, 10 p.m., if necessary

CONFERENCE FINALS

Ottawa vs. New Jersey, TBA.

Anaheim vs. Vancouver or Minnesota, TBA.




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PREP SPORTS
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Monday's Results
Today's Games

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NBA
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Today's conference semifinal openers
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NHL
Red Wings say so long to Robitaille
Senators eliminate Flyers 5-1

PLAN YOUR DAY
Tuesday's sports on TV, radio