Proud Sens promise to battle

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:02 AM ET

ATLANTA -- The Senators have been reduced to playing for pride.

Coming off a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to the Hurricanes on Wednesday, the Senators' chances of making the playoffs are virtually nil, but with nine games left in the regular season, they are trying to hang onto whatever little hope they have left.

"It's pretty desperate now. You have to win pretty much every game and then hope the other teams ahead of us don't win," said GM Bryan Murray. "When they play each other, that's almost impossible. You hope it balances out, that they're playing for something.

"It's No. 1, to try to stay in the race and show what we're made of. No. 2, a lot of guys will be playing to kind of show where they fit going forward."

The Senators were saying the right things yesterday.

"Losing (to Carolina) doesn't change our mindset. We've got to play some teams, like Florida and Boston, that are in races and are trying to get ready (for the playoffs). We've got to be prepared and do a good job of getting ready before every game. We have done that," said captain Daniel Alfredsson.

"We had such a tough first half (to the season). We just take pride in turning things around for us and showing that we can be consistent. Obviously, mentally, if you are mathematically out of it, there might be a letdown for one game. I don't see that happening the rest of the season. We're going to take pride in our performance."

No matter what happens the rest of the way, Murray wants the Senators to compete.

"I'm happy with the effort (in the last month) and with the way we've played. I'm happy the guys have made an adjustment from a really tough situation to become a competitive group again. I really think going forward in the long term, we'll really benefit from this."

Bingo bound for Ottawa?

There could be playoff hockey at Scotibank Place this spring.

The Binghamton Press and Sun Bulletin reported yesterday that because of scheduling conflicts at the Broome County Arena next month, the Senators' AHL affiliate could be forced to move playoff dates to Scotiabank Place.

Broome County Arena will play host to Disney on Ice, a monster truck show and a business show in April.

"We're looking at a lot of different options, and it'll depend on which team we wind up playing in the first round," said Baby Sens president Tom Mitchell. "And, of course, we've got to get there first. Right now, there's three different teams out there that we could possibly play."

The Sens are trying to hold off the Philadelphia Phantoms for the final playoff spot in their division. Hershey and Bridgeport are Binghamton's two most likely first-round opponents and they both have building issues as well.


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