Sens get beasts of East

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:22 PM ET

As the Senators made their way to Newark International Airport late Saturday night, they mused about who they'd like to face in the Eastern Conference final.

"A lot of our big guys wanted another shot at the Sabres after what happened last year," said Senators winger Chris Neil. "Guys want a chance for revenge because they ended our spring last season."

Yesterday, the Senators, coming off a five-game series victory over the Devils to advance to Round 3 for only the second time in team history, got their wish.

NEIL STARTED FEUD

The Senators will get a chance to redeem themselves against the team that eliminated them in the second round last spring in five games as the top-ranked Sabres sent the Rangers packing from the playoffs.

With the Sabres eliminating the Rangers after a 5-4 victory in Game 6 at Madison Square Garden, the Senators will start the Eastern Conference final against Buffalo at HSBC Arena sometime this week.

"These are two teams that match up pretty well," said Neil. "Both teams have pretty good speed and it should be a great series."

Neil is also aware he could be a marked man. Neil started a feud with Buffalo on Feb. 22 when his hard, open-ice hit left Sabres centre Chris Drury with a concussion.

The incident resulted in a melee after the next faceoff -- including Ottawa goalie Ray Emery, who fought former Sabres netminder Martin Biron and Buffalo goon Andrew Peters. The bad blood carried over to a game 48 hours later in Ottawa.

"I've got to go out and finish my checks. That's my game," said Neil. "I'm not going to dwell on what's happened in the past."

The Sabres will be a formidable foe for the Senators. Buffalo made quick work of the Islanders, dispatching them in five games, and although the Rangers put up a fight, the Sabres were the better team throughout the second-round series.

"We're going to have to work even harder (against Ottawa)," Drury told NBC following yesterday's win. "They roll four lines and they rolled right through New Jersey and it'll be a good challenge."

The regular season doesn't mean much at this time of year, but for what it's worth, the Senators had a 5-2-1 record against Buffalo.


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