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The playoffs and Matt Carkner

Milan Lucic #17 of the Boston Bruins and

Milan Lucic #17 of the Boston Bruins and Matt Carkner fight in the first period of a game at TD Garden. (Jan. 25, 2013) Credit: Getty

Matt Carkner reached the playoffs with the Senators last spring and was an integral part of the Sens’ nearly picking off the top-seeded Rangers.

Carkner is back again with an underdog No. 8 seed and, while he may not play much, he’s aware of how the Islanders stack up:

“Last year [with Ottawa] we struggled early, picked up pace at the end. This year, I wouldn’t say teams are worried about us, but people know we are a team capable of winning and doing some damage. We proved the last 15-20 games that we can play with any team. I don’t think anyone’s underestimating us, but we know we’re a good team in here and we have confidence in ourselves.

“If we didn’t finish the season strong, we probably wouldn’t be in the playoffs. We rose to the challenge, it was a lot of big games we had to face, with a lot of importance. We’re all just looking forward to getting going. We’re going to stick to our game plan, we know we can compete, we can come back if we’re down and we can win close games.”

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