'We'll win series'

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 1:37 PM ET

 TORONTO -- Another big game, another big loss and another big guarantee from Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson.

 Shortly after Ottawa's disappointing and lacklustre 2-0 loss to the Maple Leafs last night at the Air Canada Centre, Alfredsson promised the Senators will rebound and win the best-of-seven series, which they now trail 3-2.

  "I don't think you've seen the last of us yet (in Toronto)," said a frustrated Alfredsson following a closed-door meeting. "We're going to go home, win and force Game 7. Then we'll come back in here and we'll win the series.

 "We know that we're capable of having a better effort than we did in this game. We just didn't have our game and then we got a bad bounce. You can't play the way that we played and expect to win. We have to be better."

 The "bad bounce" Alfredsson was referring to was a puck that banked in off Ottawa winger Bryan Smolinski's skate after a great save by goalie Patrick Lalime on a shot from Toronto's Tie Domi.

 And with that, Domi got credit for the goal and the Leafs pushed the Senators to the brink of elimination.

 The Senators now face a must-win game tomorrow at the Corel Centre to force a Game 7 Tuesday in Toronto or it will be the fourth time they've been bounced from the post-season in the last five years by the Leafs.

 After Domi's weird one at 1:43 of the third, centre Joe Nieuwendyk put Game 5 away with a late marker as the Senators were shut out for the third time in the series.

 LEAFS NOT IMPRESSED

 "Lalime had made the big stop and it just hit my skate," said Smolinski. "That (game) was awful. We didn't play the way we're capable of playing and it's definitely not the way we wanted to play. We put ourselves behind the 8-ball and now we have to find a way back."

 The Leafs, meanwhile, were not impressed with Alfredsson's guarantee.

 "He's their leader," said Toronto defenceman Brian Leetch. "That's what he should do if he believes it. It's not going to change our focus."

 Said Nieuwendyk, who returned to the lineup after missing Game 4 with a wonky back: "He's sure making a lot of guarantees.

 "But we're a confident group after (last night's win)."

 And they did it without captain Mats Sundin (hip) in the lineup.

 So instead of coming out and taking it to the undermanned Leafs, the Senators got caught up in a game that was devoid of any real excitement as both teams seemed satisfied to play between the blue lines.

 MARTIN LAMENTS

 "I didn't think we were very good," said Senators coach Jacques Martin. "We've had chances in this series and we didn't do much (last night). You get goals when you go to the net and pay the price."

 Senators defenceman Chris Phillips wasn't about to concede the series to the Leafs.

 "We know that we're not out of it this year and we've got another chance to play and force a Game 7," said Phillips. "We just didn't have the jump and we didn't get the job done. That's a tough way to lose, but we can come back. We've done it before."

 If they don't, it will mark an early end to their season ... guaranteed.


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