Sens standing pat

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 2:23 PM ET


 TORONTO -- The status of a pair of injured pivots was front and centre yesterday.

 There was no sign of Leafs captain Mats Sundin or centre Joe Nieuwendyk at the club's optional workout and coach Pat Quinn wouldn't confirm whether either would play tonight in Game 5 at the Air Canada Centre.

 Reports here, however, indicated both are expected to play.

 Nieuwendyk is dealing with a chronic back problem while Sundin suffered a left leg injury in the third period of a 4-1 loss in Game 4 in Ottawa.

 The Senators, meanwhile, claim they are going to stick to their game plan regardless of whether Sundin or Nieuwendyk are in the Leafs' lineup.

 "You can't worry about who is in or out of the lineup for them," said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson yesterday.

 "If they're not in there, it doesn't mean we have a better chance to win. They've got a good team with good depth.

 "They're both good players, but we have to focus on what we want to do. We've got to make sure that we go out there with the same determination to have success. There's no question they're going to come after us hard."

 BRINK OF ELIMINATION

 By the time puck is dropped for Game 6 on Sunday at the Corel Centre, one team is going to be on the brink of elimination. Obviously, the Senators hope it isn't them.

 After Game 4's victory to tie the best-of-seven series at 2-2, one might think the Senators have the momentum. But defenceman Wade Redden would disagree.

 "That was a big win for us (in Game 4) and it gave us confidence, but I'm not sure we took any momentum," said Redden. "You know in a series, especially a long one like this, there's going to be a lot of momentum swings.

 "The team that wins (tonight) is going to have the momentum, but that doesn't mean it can't change again. What we have to focus on is making sure that we play our game."

 Even if Sundin and Nieuwendyk are in the Leafs' lineup, the Senators are still going to use a full-frontal attack. They want to strike quick and steal any fire the home crowd will light under the Leafs.

 If the Senators are going to win this Battle of Ontario, they've got to win a game in Toronto. There is no other choice. Since they have no interest in coming back for Game 7, the players would like to get the job done tonight.

 "We're not going to change a whole lot about what we're trying to do," said defenceman Chris Phillips. "The one thing you know about the Leafs is they've got a lot of talent and they're going to be tough to play against.

 "We just have to keep playing the way we're capable of playing. We just have to do the things that make us successful."


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