Silver Nuggets: This is the way the season ends...

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Craig Anderson #41 of the Ottawa Senators reacts as Dan Girardi #5 of the New York Rangers and his team celebrate Girardi's second period goal in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 26, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

... not with a Entry Draft lottery, but with a hard-fought playoff loss.

This was a tough series for a lot of Ottawa Senators, including Daniel Alfredsson in particular. But this summer will be filled with ink (both virtual and physical) spent discussing Alfredsson's potential retirement in advance of the 2012-13 series, so I'm not going to discuss that right now. (I don't really want to face the possibility anyway.) I'm going to discuss the player who seemed most affected of all by the loss: Craig Anderson.

After the game, Anderson was obviously emotional. He immediately stormed off the ice after the final buzzer, perhaps to compose himself, before returning to the ice for final handshakes. He looked on the verge of tears while in the lineup, and it's hard to blame him: He was the Senators' best player in the series, and may very well have been the best player from either team.

That's not to take anything away from Henrik Lundqvist, but the Rangers' defence gave him a lot more support than the Senators' defence was capable of giving Anderson. Andy was left defending against far more odd-man rushes than Lundy, and the Rangers seemed to have more genuine scoring chances despite having less possession time. Once again, Anderson was his team's hero in the playoffs, but once again his team couldn't advance.

That must be hard to take. He has a nine-year NHL career under his belt, but has only made the playoffs twice. In each of those post-season appearances, he was his team's top performer, but couldn't advance to the second round. It's easy to see why he'd be a little upset after the loss.

On the bright side, he's signed with Ottawa for another three years, and this team should only get better as the young players in the system gain more experience. So, keep your chin up, Andy.

Links after the jump.

Sens headlines:

Other headlines:

I don't care about what's happening in the other series, but here's a schedule for round two:

2012 EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
SERIES I TIME (ET) #1 VS. #7 NETWORKS
SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 2012 3:00 P.M. WASHINGTON AT NY RANGERS NBC, CBC
MONDAY, APRIL 30, 2012 7:30 P.M. WASHINGTON AT NY RANGERS NBCSN, CBC
WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 2012 7:30 P.M. NY RANGERS AT WASHINGTON NBCSN, CBC
SATURDAY, MAY 5, 2012 12:30 P.M. NY RANGERS AT WASHINGTON NBC, CBC
*MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 7:30 P.M. WASHINGTON AT NY RANGERS NBCSN, CBC
*WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 2012 TBD NY RANGERS AT WASHINGTON TBD, CBC
*SATURDAY, MAY 12, 2012 TBD WASHINGTON AT NY RANGERS TBD, CBC
SERIES J TIME #5 VS. #6 NETWORKS
SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 2012 3:00 P.M. NEW JERSEY AT PHILADELPHIA NBC, CBC
TUESDAY, MAY 1, 2012 7:30 P.M. NEW JERSEY AT PHILADELPHIA NBCSN, CBC
THURSDAY, MAY 3, 2012 7:30 P.M. PHILADELPHIA AT NEW JERSEY NBCSN, CBC
SUNDAY, MAY 6, 2012 7:30 P.M. PHILADELPHIA AT NEW JERSEY NBCSN, CBC
*TUESDAY, MAY 8, 2012 TBD NEW JERSEY AT PHILADELPHIA NBCSN, CBC
*THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2012 TBD PHILADELPHIA AT NEW JERSEY TBD, CBC
*SATURDAY, MAY 12, 2012 TBD NEW JERSEY AT PHILADELPHIA TBD, CBC
2012 WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
SERIES K
TIME #2 VS. #8 NETWORKS
SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 2012 7:30 P.M. LOS ANGELES AT ST. LOUIS NBCSN, TSN
MONDAY, APRIL 30, 2012 9:00 P.M. LOS ANGELES AT ST. LOUIS CNBC, TSN
THURSDAY, MAY 3, 2012 10:00 P.M. ST. LOUIS AT LOS ANGELES NBCSN, TSN
SUNDAY, MAY 6, 2012 3:00 P.M. ST. LOUIS AT LOS ANGELES NBC, TSN
*TUESDAY, MAY 8, 2012 TBD LOS ANGELES AT ST. LOUIS CNBC, TSN
*THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2012 TBD ST. LOUIS AT LOS ANGELES TBD, TSN
*SATURDAY, MAY 12, 2012 TBD LOS ANGELES AT ST. LOUIS TBD, TSN
SERIES L
TIME #3 VS. #4 NETWORKS
FRIDAY, APRIL 27, 2012 9:00 P.M. NASHVILLE AT PHOENIX NBCSN, TSN
SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 2012 8:00 P.M. NASHVILLE AT PHOENIX NBCSN, TSN
WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 2012 9:00 P.M. PHOENIX AT NASHVILLE CNBC, TSN
FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2012 7:30 P.M. PHOENIX AT NASHVILLE NBCSN, TSN
*MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 10:00 P.M. NASHVILLE AT PHOENIX NBCSN, TSN
*WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 2012 TBD PHOENIX AT NASHVILLE TBD, TSN
*FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2012 TBD NASHVILLE AT PHOENIX TBD, TSN

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