Sens don't know how to cook Duck

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:13 AM ET

The Senators are ready to go Duck hunting.

For the first time since eliminating the Sabres last weekend, the Senators were able to practice with a purpose yesterday at the Bell Sensplex.

With the Ducks beating the Red Wing on Tuesday and advancing to the Stanley Cup final, the Senators could put a name on their next opponent.

"There's a lot of excitement here," said Senators defenceman Wade Redden. "Now, we can spend the next couple of days getting ready for them. That's one thing we've been able to do well: Get some insight and put together a game plan.

"The coaches have done a good job here. We're going to lay out a plan and execute it. We're going to have to really be at our best to beat (Anaheim). The good thing is we have a goal now and we know exactly who we're going to be seeing. We can start thinking about the Ducks and things we're going to have to do to beat them."

The Senators admit they don't know the Ducks well, leaving the coaching staff with plenty of homework. Because of the NHL's unbalanced schedule, the last time the teams played was Jan. 19, 2006 -- when Chris Kunitz scored the winner in a shootout for the Ducks.

Fortunately for the Senators, they have an inside edge. Coach Bryan Murray left his post as GM of the Ducks in 2004 to take over as the bench boss in Ottawa.

"They're a good hockey team, obviously," said Murray. "Anaheim is big, strong and a real competitive team. They've got a number of guys who have been in finals before. (Goaltender J.S.) Giguere has been outstanding in his career at playoff time. We know we're going to have to play a real good game every outing to be competitive here."

Including Giguere, only four players remain from Murray's time in Anaheim.

DRAFTED TRIO

The other three Murray drafted: Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Dustin Penner.

When Murray came to Ottawa from Anaheim, he brought assistant coach Greg Carvel with him. The coaches will be preparing a scouting report for the Senators that will break down the Ducks.

It's not star sniper Teemu Selanne or Norris Trophy-winning defencemen Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger who the Senators need info on. It's guys like Samuel Pahlsson, Travis Moen and Andy MacDonald.

"They're a team we don't know and when you don't know a team, you rely a lot on the coaches for scouting reports," said Ottawa centre Jason Spezza. "They're going to do a great job putting together clips for us and teaching us how to play (against opponents). At the end of the day, everybody plays fairly similar and it shouldn't be too big of a change.

"We have to play hard, solid hockey. We just have to make sure we get pucks behind their defencemen. We know that when we skate, and do things right, that we can beat anybody in the league."


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