A win tonight would take the Senators to a happy place they've never been: Up 2-0 in a playoff series.
After a 4-1 victory over the Lightning in Game 1 on Friday, the Senators can take a 2-0 lead tonight before the series moves to Tampa on Tuesday. The Senators have won Game 1 only five times, but in each case have allowed the opposition to tie the series.
"We really want to come out of here with a 2-0 lead," said Senators winger Martin Havlat, Game 1's hero, whose third-period goal started an offensive outburst for Ottawa.
"When you're in the playoffs, you really want to take advantage of the games you have at home. That's why it was great to get that first win and it's important to try to get up 2-0."
The Senators have often had their killer instinct questioned in the playoffs -- mostly because they were unable to eliminate the Toronto Maple Leafs. But captain Daniel Alfredsson isn't going to get bogged down by past history.
"I'm not a statistics freak. I really don't pay attention to it, to be honest," said Alfredsson. "It doesn't matter whether you're preparing for Game 2, Game 5 or Game 7. You realize every playoff game is big and it doesn't matter which one it is.
"I really think every game is about having killer instinct. If you lose Game 1, does that mean you don't have killer instinct? What you want to do is perform consistently and that is something that we've been able to do all year. We just want to make sure we have the chance to win every game."
The Senators must do a better job than they did for the first 40 minutes than they did in Game 1. Yes, Tampa goalie John Grahame was making big stops, but Ottawa wasn't exactly getting great chances.
"I'm not sure if we were nervous," said defenceman Wade Redden. "I thought what we may have been was a little bit overexcited about being in the playoffs and wanting to make sure we perform well at home. We know we have to better when the puck is dropped."
The Bolts had a 40-minute workout at the Bell Sensplex yesterday and then went through a 20-minute video session with coach John Tortorella.
Many observers are already counting them out because the Lightning had a strong performance and still couldn't come away with a win. The Bolts, who have plenty of offensive talent, don't agree with that, but Tortorella said the club's top players -- Vinny Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Vaclav Prospal, Brad Richards and Pavel Kubina -- have to score.
The Lightning are going to stick with Grahame as the starter. He didn't get a lot of help, but didn't look good on Jason Spezza's goal that turned out to be the winner.
"We need to score more goals," said Tortorella. "We had opportunities to put the puck in the net and weren't able to get the job done. I've said we're not going to beat this team 1-0 and we lost in the third period. We just have to take advantage of our chances."