Good ol' Ray of delight

Senators goalie Ray Emery speaks to reporters at Scotiabank Place yesterday. Game 5 of the East...

Senators goalie Ray Emery speaks to reporters at Scotiabank Place yesterday. Game 5 of the East final goes tomorrow in Buffalo. (Sun Media/Errol McGihon)

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:03 AM ET

Ray Emery, always looking for a little sunshine.

"As bad as we wanted to win the last game, it's going to be great to go back to Buffalo now," cracked the Senators goaltender as his club will take another shot at eliminating the Sabres in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference final tomorrow afternoon (2 p.m.) at HSBC Arena.

The Senators blew the chance to sweep the Sabres Wednesday night with a 3-2 loss that was fraught with turnovers and mistakes, like surrendering a goal a record nine seconds into the game, that were uncharacteristic for the Senators this spring.

RECOVER THEIR FORM

The NHL will pack up the Prince of Wales Trophy and somebody else those "Eastern Conference Champion" hats and gather in Buffalo tomorrow to see if the Senators can recover their form and earn their first trip to the Stanley Cup final.

"Obviously, we're disappointed we couldn't finish the series at home and take advantage of that opportunity," said Emery, who gave up a softie to Buffalo's Chris Drury to make it 3-0 in Game 4.

"We realize as many of us who made mistakes as we did, we were still close and still gave ourselves a chance to win that game. We were not far off. We're still a confident bunch. We have to live with the mistakes and take advantage of what's coming up here.

"We're confident now that even if they're woken up now, so to speak, we're still capable of winning games and we still control our own destiny regardless if they've gained confidence."

The Senators 'keeper became "Public Emery No. 1" in Buffalo at the start of the series when he said he would rather have been in Manhattan facing the Rangers because there was more to do there on off-days.

The Senators won the first two games of the series in Buffalo, 5-2 in the opener and 4-3 in double overtime on defenceman Joe Corvo's winner.

BIG LINE BLANKED

"Sweeping a team, especially the Sabres, is a tough thing to do. We had a chance (Wednesday) night to do it and didn't get it done," said Dany Heatley, the left winger on the Senators' top line that was held without a goal for the first time in these playoffs.

"At the same time we were down 3-0 and showed a lot of character coming back to make it 3-2. We missed one chance. We're going to forget about it and get back to our game.

"I don't think it's a cause for real panic."

The Sabres are hanging on -- barely -- and have a chance to be just the third team in NHL history to come back from a 3-0 deficit and win a best-of-seven series.

"We have a team that when we're being pushed to the limit we seem to answer that bell really good," Sabres co-captain Daniel Briere said yesterday. "When we've been challenged this year we've come up with big games. Same thing in the post-season. For some reason we have that knack in our dressing room of finding ways to stay alive."

Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson said the Senators' finish in the Game 4, which saw them get goals from Dean McAmmond and Peter Schaefer (his first of the post-season) to make it 3-2 gives the Ottawa something to build on going into tomorrow's game.

"Any time you lose, you want to rebound and have a good effort," he said. "I think that's what we're looking at. We put ourselves in a little bit of a hole off the bat (Wednesday), but I think the way we ended the game showed a lot of character and we've got to bring that.

"The next one is always the biggest one."


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