Once the Ottawa Senators failed to knock out the top-seeded New York Rangers when they had the chance at home in Game 6, the chances for a big-time upset collapsed around them.
New York had the best record in the Eastern Conference in the regular season, and the second-best overall mark in the NHL, but it didn't matter after the eighth-seeded Senators topped the Rangers in Game 5 to put them on the brink of elimination.
The Senators just couldn't finish. Given one more chance to move onto the second round, Ottawa came up a bit short Thursday night and dropped a 2-1 heartbreaker in Game 7.
''We put ourselves in a good position going home. We couldn't get it done,'' forward Jason Spezza said. ''It's a tough loss. We really thought we could win the series. We felt like we had a chance to beat these guys. It's really disappointing right now. We had chances to tie it up.
''You could play that game over again, it could be a one-goal win by us. It was so close all series.''