Sens stay the course

Senators forward Jason Spezza skates during practice at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo N.Y., on Friday....

Senators forward Jason Spezza skates during practice at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo N.Y., on Friday. (Sun Media/Sean Kilpatrick)

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:02 AM ET

The Senators are enjoying their journey through these uncharted waters.

Tonight they'll continue to set course for the Stanley Cup final amid a sea of red at Scotiabank Place.

For the first time in team history, the Senators will enter Game 3 of a playoff series with a 2-0 lead and it couldn't come at a better time than the Eastern Conference final against the Buffalo Sabres.

The Senators are still basking in the glow of their dramatic 4-3 victory late Saturday night at the HSBC Arena, produced courtesy of Joe Corvo's winner at 4:58 of the second overtime.

But they swear they're not going to let up now that they have the chance to push the Sabres to the brink of elimination.

"We're ecstatic and excited in this room at what we've accomplished so far, but we haven't won anything yet," Senators defenceman Chris Phillips said. "We just know with the talent and quality of team that they are, being down 2-0 they're just going to keep coming harder and harder and we have to raise our level of play.

"We feel great. We stole two games (in Buffalo) and we couldn't be happier, but, at the same time, we can't be satisfied with just doing that. We have to go and take advantage of the situation we've put ourselves into."

The Senators are trying to temper their excitement. The Sabres battled the odds all year in winning the President's Trophy as the NHL's top team in the regular season. Buffalo's character was again illustrated when Daniel Briere scored with just six seconds left to send Saturday's game into overtime.

"We could have sulked when they scored that goal, but we just regrouped and played hard," Ottawa centre Mike Fisher said. "I don't think there was any doubt with the way we were playing that it was just a matter of time before we won that game.

"We were just going to keep giving our best and to get a win in OT is huge. We know we're in the position where we want to be. We can't take anything for granted. It's not going to get any easier. We've got to keep going the way we have been. We're comfortable at home. That's where we want to be and it's a pretty good job so far, but facing a good team, we've got a lot of work to go."

Still, the Sabres must be wondering what it's going to take to beat Ottawa.

On Saturday, Buffalo took a 2-0 first-period lead, but the Senators fought back to go ahead 3-2 on a goal by Wade Redden until Briere performed his late magic.

'A GOOD JOB'

"We went in there and did a good job," said Redden. "We know it's not wrapped up by any means."

After hoping to get at least a split in Buffalo, the Senators can now put the Sabres on the ropes tonight.

"We've got a lot of character in this room,'' said Senators centre Jason Spezza. "We were tied going into OT and already up one game in the series. We felt good about ourselves at that point.

''We've put them in a tough spot. We've got to make sure we go at them and put them (away)."


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