Do or die!

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 3:36 PM ET


 TORONTO -- The road to the Stanley Cup goes through Toronto. And the Senators hope it's the Maple Leafs thrown to the sidewalk tonight.

 For three straight years, the Maple Leafs bounced the Senators from the playoffs. That was then, this is now.

 The Senators will have a chance at payback tonight in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarter-final.

 The Battle of Ontario has come down to this: A seventh and deciding game with the series tied 3-3 after the Senators' 2-1 double-overtime victory in Game 6 on Sunday in Ottawa.

 The winner moves on to Round 2. The loser? Fore!

 While the Senators were riding high after centre Mike Fisher saved the season with his game-winner on Sunday night, the players are focused on the task at hand.

 "We were as giddy as little kids (in the dressing room) right after we won the game, but everybody settled down almost immediately and realized we've still got work to do," said captain Daniel Alfredsson. "We have not done anything yet.

 "Obviously, that game provided a big lift for us, but we know to keep this going we've got to get another win. We've got to give an even better effort this time. We've got an opportunity to win this series. That's what we wanted."

 The Senators don't plan any major changes, but they want to get off to a quick start. Some of the players were concerned they didn't take the play to the Leafs until Zdeno Chara tied it 1-1 in the third. From there, the Senators made life difficult for the Leafs by using their speed, finishing checks and forcing goaltender Ed Belfour to make several big saves. Ottawa players would like to continue with that kind of pressure tonight.

 "We've got to initiate," said goalie Patrick Lalime. "We can't play a wait-and-see type of game. We've got to make sure that we turn it on and take it to them right off the start. We've just got to make sure we play strong.

 "The playoffs are about intensity. It can be a big hit, a big defensive play or a big goal. These games are so big, you've got to do whatever you can do to try to make the difference. We've just got to make sure we have our best effort."

 One area that has to improve is the power play. The club, which was ranked No. 1 overall in the league with the man advantage during the regular season, is a mere 3-for-31 in the playoffs and that could be a difference.

 "What we have to be better at is our intensity," said coach Jacques Martin. "We have to try to do things quickly."

 The Senators expect the Leafs to come hard. They've been quite happy to sit back through this series and try to protect one-goal leads. But Ottawa players expect that Toronto will do a better job of trying to control the tempo tonight.

 "The one thing we've always said throughout this series is: 'It's not about what they do. This is about us,' " said defenceman Chris Phillips. "We know what we're capable of doing and we've got the opportunity we wanted to win this series."


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