It's been a brutal and vicious series between the Rangers and Senators through the first six games, and with Game 7 on the line Thursday at Madison Square Garden, we may not have seen the worst yet.
Here are the five ugliest plays of the series so far:
1.Carkner's Boyle beatdown
Enraged by Brian Boyle's seemingly-innocuous tussle with Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson in Game 1, hulking defenseman Matt Carkner went after the Rangers center less than three minutes into Game 2. Carkner attacked Boyle and punched him repeatedly while Boyle was down on the ice in a defenseless position, earning himself a one-game suspension in a vicious game that culminated with Sens brawler Zenon Konopka declaring that there would be plenty of "blood and stitches" before the series was over.
The Senators witnessed a frightening sight with captain Daniel Alfredsson down on the ice face-first after Carl Hagelin's suspension-earning hit in Game 2. The 39-year-old veteran attempted to come back before Game 3 in Ottawa, but suffered a setback that held him out of the lineup until Game 6. Hagelin was slapped with a three-game suspension for the play that forced his fellow Swede from the game.
3.Boyle hit by Neil
The Senators were not the only one to lose a player to concussion. While Ottawa returned Alfredsson to the lineup in Game 6, the Rangers were without Boyle, their series MVP, after Chris Neil's hit in Game 5 left him woozy. The league did not feel the nasty blow met the threshold of a suspension or fine, but coach John Tortorella was fuming after seeing his player felled. Tortorella likened the play to the hit by Phoenix's Raffi Torres that sent Chicago's Marian Hossa off the ice on a stretcher last week. Just hours after Torres was hit with a 25-game suspension, Tortorella suggested the league deliver a similar one to Neil. "They have a blueprint," he said. Neil didn't win any friends after Game 6, either. The gritty winger issued a thinly-veiled threat toward Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto, warning him about retribution for his third-period hit that left Neil slow to get up in the third period of the Sens' 3-2 loss. Neil said, 'I'm sure I'll catch him with his head down one of these times."
4.Controversial Senators goal
The goal itself in the waning moments of Game 6 --suspect both because of the apparent kicking motion and what appeared to be a blatantly missed interference call -- caused controversy, as did goaltender Henrik Lundqvist's colorful tirade after the game. Lundqvist said the ruling was an "absolute joke" and hinted that the league was conspiring to affect the outcome of the game, comments for which he will likely be fined. But the drama didn't end there. The league is also probing an incident during the fracas when Senators winger Milan Michalek apparently kicked Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi with his skate.
After sitting out three games with a concussion, Alfredsson's return was not the triumphant comeback for which he hoped. In fact, the mild-mannered Swede suffered an uncharacteristic meltdown in the third period, breaking his stick on the Senators bench and abusing a water bottle in frustration. He expressed remorse for the incident on Tuesday, incidentally the same day he was named as one of three finalists for the NHL's annual Masterton Trophy for good sportsmanship.