Full throttle ahead

Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby puts the puck past Ottawa senators goalie Ray Emery during the...

Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby puts the puck past Ottawa senators goalie Ray Emery during the third period of game one.(CP PHOTO/Tom Hanson)

BRUCE GARRIOCH

, Last Updated: 1:46 PM ET

The Senators have long been accused of lacking killer instinct.

That could change in a big way with a Game 2 playoff win over the Pittsburgh Penguins this afternoon at Scotiabank Place.

Coach Michel Therrien said his Penguins have to be "more physical" against the Senators after stumbling when Ottawa came out crashing and banging from the opening faceoff in Wednesday's 6-3 victory.

"We know they are going to try to come out harder," said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson. "Hopefully we can match their intensity and have the same quick start we had last time.

"I don't think this will be a letdown from us."

Taking a 2-0 series lead for the first time in team history wouldn't just be a luxury for the Senators, it'll dump even more heat on the Penguins.

The Senators do not want to go to Pittsburgh with the series deadlocked 1-1.

"If you get that first strike on them, you definitely want to win both games," said Emery. "If they get a split in your building, it's a good trip for them."

Actually, it would be a huge boost for the Penguins.

"We expect to be better," said Penguins star Sidney Crosby.

That's why now is the time for the Senators.

"It puts us in a better position than if we were down 1-0, but we can't take that for granted," said Senators defenceman Chris Phillips after a 45-minute workout at the Bell Sensplex. "That's going to force (the Penguins to get a win) and we know they're going to come out hard because they're down.

"We have to have that same urgency to be great at home and have a 2-0 lead going into Pittsburgh. You play in the playoffs and every game is the most important game. We've put ourselves in the position we want to be in so far, but it would mean nothing going there with a split."

Game 3 of the series will be tomorrow in Pittsburgh.

"We're at the whim of the (TV) guys," said Senators coach Bryan Murray. "We just do what we're told."

Still, with a win today, Murray will be pounding home the fact the Senators can put the Penguins away.

"I'm not talking about splits, but I will be talking about the importance of the game," said Murray. "We all know, as we go through the years of games in playoff times, as a road team, what your hope is. You want to, at least, win on the road to go back home with a little momentum. I'm sure that will be their focus and our focus will be to play like we did (Wednesday)."

The Senators say they aren't looking back.

"I don't know if it gives you an emotional lift (to get up 2-0), but it gives you a bit of an advantage," said Alfredsson. "Whoever wins (today) gets the momentum back and you don't have too much time to regroup. Obviously, today is a big game."

Yes, the Senators were great in Game 1. But, a loss today, and it's back to square one.


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