'One loss, we're done'

Ottawa Senators' Wade Redden sits with his eyes closed on the bench as teammates make their way to...

Ottawa Senators' Wade Redden sits with his eyes closed on the bench as teammates make their way to the dressing room after their overtime loss in Buffalo Wednesday night. (Toronto Sun/Fred Thornhill)

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:39 AM ET

BUFFALO -- Just think of it as a post-season nightmare that won't go away.

All last season's NHL lockout did was offer a reprieve from another early spring for the Senators. They're on the brink of elimination after a heartbreaking 3-2 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres last night at HSBC Arena.

J.P. Dumont beat Ray Emery on a floater of a shot 5:05 into the extra period, allowing the Sabres to take a 3-0 stranglehold in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final series. Buffalo can end it on home ice tonight (7 p.m., CBC).

The Senators have lost all three games in the series by one goal -- two in overtime. Ottawa has now lost nine straight playoff games to the Sabres.

"Nobody deserves to be ahead 3-0 in this series and we certainly don't deserve to be behind 3-0," said Senators centre Jason Spezza, who sent the game into overtime by scoring his second goal of the game with 90 seconds left in regulation.

"This is really tough right now and really hard to swallow. We've worked our tails off in this series and we deserved a better fate. We've got to find a way to come back. It's going to be tough, but we've got guys in this room who can get the job done.

"We just have to keep working hard and we know our backs are to the wall. One loss and we're done."

The Senators could wake up tomorrow morning out of the playoffs and wondering what happens next, because major changes are on the horizon if this team doesn't pull off a miracle comeback.

This is a scene -- another early playoff exit -- that is far too familiar for Senators fans. The 113 points the Senators had in the regular season will be rendered meaningless unless the club can avoid a sweep and claw back to match a feat only two teams -- the 1942 Maple Leafs and 1975 Islanders -- have accomplished in NHL playoff history.

So, do you believe in miracles?

"Right now, we just have to worry about trying to win the game (tonight) and getting back to (Scotiabank Place) for Game 5," said Senators coach Bryan Murray. "I know the history and I know it's tough."

Things looked good for the Senators when Spezza netted the equalizer. Then captain Daniel Alfredsson had Sabres fans gasping when he rang a shot off the post two seconds before the final buzzer.

Spezza's tying goal came with Buffalo's Teppo Numminen in the penalty box and goalie Ray Emery on the bench for an extra attacker.

"We felt good about the way we were playing and we thought we were going to have a good chance to win it in overtime," said Alfredsson. "It's really disappointing for us to be in this position. We know that this isn't going to be easy, but we still believe and we're not going to quit. We don't have those kind of people in this room."

Emery said he was screened on the winner by Dumont, a floater that appeared to change direction as it beat him from the top of the right faceoff circle.

"I'm going to have to look at it again because I didn't see it," said Emery. "It's really disappointing to have this happen that way. We have to dig deep.

"We don't have any other choice."


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