You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out how to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs. Just find a formula to get the puck past Ed Belfour.
So the Senators went back to the drawing board yesterday. Towering Zdeno Chara stood in front of an empty net and worked on tipping shots from the point at the end of practice. A sign of things to come?
After getting shut out twice by Belfour and trailing the Leafs 2-1 going into tonight's Game 4 of the best-of-seven series, the Senators know they have to create chaos in front of him.
"I heard somebody suggesting on the radio that maybe we should run (Belfour)," said Senators' Bryan Smolinski. "I'm not sure we're going to try that. Maybe what we have to do is agitate him and get him riled up a bit.
"We've got to battle in there. He says he's seeing everything and what we have to do is make him move to see the puck. We've got to get in there to get the second chances. We can't get frustrated. We just have to capitalize on the chances we've been getting."
The Senators have had plenty of opportunities to score in the last two games, but they haven't been able to get anything past Belfour.
Buoyed by confidence they can still beat the Leafs, the Senators know they have to find a way to get to Belfour, but it should be noted they scored only four goals on him during four games in the regular season.
"We can do a better job getting to the front of the net and do a better job jumping on the rebounds," said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson. "We have to do that.
"We've got to be hungrier and it would help if we got the first goal (tonight). If that happens, things will open up for us. We're a better team playing with a lead. This is a huge game and it's crucial for us to win."
The Senators can't believe that Belfour is invincible ... or else.
"If he gets into their heads because he's making big saves, then they could be in trouble," said former Carolina coach Paul Maurice yesterday. "We had a series against the Habs a couple of years, where (Jose) Theodore was making a ton of saves and it's tough not to let that bother you.
"When you're in that kind of situation, you need people to step up for you and put the puck in the net. They've got a lot of offensive skill on that team and if they get one (goal) then the floodgates might open up for them."
The Senators still feel that they can score. That means putting Chara in front of the net on the power play is a possibility.
"We've got to do whatever we can do to not let him see the puck," said centre Todd White. "We've just got to cash in because we're getting good chances."
BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun
, Last Updated: 12:50 PM ET