'... We can win'

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 2:51 PM ET


 Somehow, some way, the Senators have to figure out how to get the puck past Ed Belfour.

 Two shutouts in a row. Two Senators losses. Two more losses and an early vacation. Call it desperation, but Ottawa needs to score on the red-hot Toronto Maple Leafs goalie.

 While the Senators tried to put up a brave face in the wake of a 37-save performance by Belfour in a 2-0 defeat last night, valuable ground has been lost in the Battle of Ontario.

 Not only did the Senators fall behind 2-1 in their first-round playoff series against the Leafs, they also extended their scoreless streak against Belfour and the Leafs to an alarming 138 minutes and 21 seconds.

 "We've got to find a way to get to Belfour," said Senators centre Mike Fisher. "I don't know what it is: Maybe we have to create more traffic in front of him. We seemed to have a bit more, but he saw a lot of pucks.

 "We did a lot good things. We had a lot of good chances. We just need to get a goal and then we can get some momentum. We knew this was going to be a tough series. We've got a lot of talented players. We've got to find a way to score."

 The Leafs found ways to score -- with goals by Joe Nieuwendyk and the other by Mats Sundin on just 17 shots.

 It's the 10th time in 37 playoff games the Senators have been blanked with Patrick Lalime in the net.

 The Senators insist they're going to be okay.

 "I don't believe we have to change much," said Senators defenceman Chris Phillips. "We had 37 shots, but it doesn't really matter if we had 40 or 50, because we've got to find a way to score some goals. We're doing some good things.

 "We just have to find a way to get the puck past this guy. Something has got to give. It's frustrating because we know we had a lot of good chances to score and he had to make some big saves or it could have been different."

 Nieuwendyk opened the scoring at 1:30 of the second period on only the sixth shot at Lalime. The Senators missed their best chance to tie the game in the third period. Centre Todd White missed a wide-open net.

 "I just reached for the puck. I really didn't know what kind of room I had," said White.

 Toronto has won six of the last seven playoff games at the Corel Centre.

 "We're still confident we can win this series," said White. "We knew at the start this was going to be a tough, long series. We just need to get a goal. It might be a flukey one by getting a break and having a bounce go our way ... it might be a pretty one. At this point, it doesn't matter."

 Toronto coach Pat Quinn gives credit for the win to Belfour.

 "At this time of year you've got to get the goaltending and that can be the difference,"said Quinn. "You just don't get wins without it."

 Nobody has to tell the Senators twice.


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