Sens take stranglehold
Senators 1, Sabres 0
Ottawa leads series 3-0
"We couldn't get anything going. It seemed like they were always making plays at the right times. Every time we made a play or got a shot on net, [goaltender Ray] Emery was there or their [defence] was there. We certainly can't say we've given everything, considering the position we're in. Overall, we have to be better if we're going to claw our way back in this."
It's all rather hard to believe.
The Buffalo Sabres, the league's top team through the regular season, managed just 15 shots on goal tonight in a game they simply had to win to stay in the playoff race, and were outclassed by an Ottawa team that is looking like the class of the postseason to this point.
It now seems likely the Senators will also be a rested bunch when the winner from out West limps into the finals, barring a Sabres-like collapse by either Detroit or Anaheim, and, under those circumstances, a fully healthy Ottawa club playing the way it has been has to be the favourite.
The Senators won't have home-ice advantage in the finals regardless of who they face — but that certainly didn't hurt them in this series.
History tells us this one is all but over, and you have to wonder just what sort of an effort Buffalo can put together in Game 4 on Wednesday, the first game in these playoffs that will truly be do or die for Lindy Ruff's crew.