ANAHEIM -- The Senators' first visit to the NHL's big dance ended in heartbreak last night.
The Senators lost 3-2 to the Ducks in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final.
Anaheim's Travis Moen took a pass from Rob Niedermayer and rifled a shot inside the left post, past Ray Emery, at 17:09 of the third period.
Mike Fisher and Wade Redden scored for the Senators, who were unable to hold onto a one-goal lead going into the third period as Ryan Getzlaf tied it up to set up Moen's heroics. Andy MacDonald also scored for the Ducks.
The Senators looked like they were hurting after the nine-day layoff and didn't react well to the physical play from the Ducks, especially in the third period.
"I'm not sure what it was. We just didn't play our game. I don't know if guys were tired. I was a little bit tired. We have to play better than that," said Ottawa defenceman Joe Corvo.
Ottawa has never trailed a series in this playoffs and will have to react with a better effort in Game 2 tomorrow night.
"You have to have a short-term memory. We got away from our game plan. We have to play strong. We can't turn pucks over. We have to play a complete game," said Senators centre Mike Comrie.
This wasn't a classic by any stretch of the imagination, but the team that has won Game 1 in the Cup final has won the title 77% of the time. Every time the Senators tried to move the puck and use their skill, the Ducks attempted to make Ottawa pay the price physically.
"I don't think that was our best game. I don't know if after all that time off we're quite in game-mode yet," said Emery.
"I know for myself once I get a feel for a team, it's a whole different story. To get a feel for the team we're playing is good for us."
Getzlaf's tying goal, at 5:44 of the third, came after a Redden turnover.
The Ducks had nobody but themselves to blame for the fact they were trailing 2-1 after two periods. Anaheim has had issues with discipline throughout the playoffs and the result was two power-play goals for Ottawa.
Burned by a bad turnover on MacDonald's goal in the first, Redden fired a point shot that deflected past Giguere at 4:36 of the second.
The Senators were inept on a 5-on-3 power play for 1:35 with Samuel Pahlsson and Francois Beauchemin the box midway through the second.
STOP BIG LINE
The Ducks did a good job of stopping the Senators' top line of Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley. Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer were on the ice virtually every time the big line touched the ice.
"It's not so much what they did, it's what we didn't do," said Spezza. "We have to be better than that. We have to do a better job getting to the net and getting more chances.
"We'll have a day to regroup but we knew this was going to be a battle. The fact we were in it to the end says a lot about our team."