Sens ready for blitz

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 4:14 PM ET

 TORONTO -- The Senators proved to the Maple Leafs they mean business in Game 1 of their provincial rivalry.

 While the Senators were still riding high yesterday following their 4-2 victory Thursday at the Air Canada Centre, they're expecting the equivalent of a desert storm from the arch-rival Leafs tonight in Game 2 before the best-of-seven series shifts to Ottawa.

  Playoff series are often compared to a roller-coaster ride of emotions. That's why the Senators are taking an even-keeled approach as they attempt to come home with a commanding 2-0 series lead.

 SAYING RIGHT THINGS

 And they were certainly saying all the right things following yesterday's 35-minute workout at the Ricoh Coliseum.

 "We've got a lot of experience in this room and everybody here knows that we've only won one game," Senators centre Bryan Smolinski said. "We haven't won anything yet. Our approach here has to be very businesslike because this will be tough.

 "You know that in a seven-game series, one win means nothing. We've got to play as strong as we did in the first game of the series (tonight) because you know that they're going to come out and play better."

 If nothing else, the Senators have received a boost of confidence from their performance against the Leafs. In Game 1, they used their speed to penetrate the Toronto defence, limited scoring chances and didn't take any dumb penalties.

 DUST-UPS WITH ROBERTS

 The Leafs attempted to knock the Senators around, but Ottawa stood up to them. Winger Peter Schaefer and centre Mike Fisher both got involved with Toronto winger Gary Roberts when he tried to push them around late in the third period.

 "We were strong physically, but I believe we've been doing that for the last couple of years in the playoffs," said Senators coach Jacques Martin. "I know people believe we're a skilled team, but we can play physical as well.

 "Teams that have won the Stanley Cup like New Jersey, Detroit and Dallas are skilled teams, who aren't considered physical, but they finish their checks. That's the same with us. We need guys like (Daniel) Alfredsson and (Marian) Hossa to do the same thing to be successful."

 And it worked well in Game 1. Defencemen Zdeno Chara and Chris Phillips led the charge on the physical front, while Hossa and Martin Havlat played well offensively. And goaltender Patrick Lalime came up with big saves in the third.

 The Senators, of course, know that the Leafs aren't about to roll over in Game 2.

 The Senators expect Toronto to come out charging hard, and don't be surprised if defenceman Ken Klee (shoulder) and pesky winger Darcy Tucker (groin, abdominal) are back in the lineup tonight.

 WIN SENS TICKETS!

 We had such a great response the first time we gave away playoff tickets that we're giving away another pair for Game 4 on Wednesday at the Corel Centre. Contest deadline is tomorrow at midnight. We'll let the winner know early Monday.

 Just tell us who was the last Senator to score a game-winning goal in overtime.

 Send your answers to us at ottsports@ott.sunpub.com. 


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