Senators grit teeth, look ahead

BRUCE GARRIOCH

, Last Updated: 5:44 AM ET

ANAHEIM -- The Senators put up a brave front.

Trailing a playoff series for the first time this spring after a 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks last night at the Honda Center, the Senators are aware they face a must-win tomorrow in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final.

"We know in the next game it's going to be do-or-die," said Senators winger Chris Neil. "We've got a lot of character in this room. We've fought hard and I know we're going to bounce back from this and come out with a strong effort."

The Senators haven't lost back-to-back games since December and now wouldn't be a good time to start with everything on the line in the final. Yes, the series shifts back to Ottawa for Game 3 and Game 4, but the Senators don't want to be down 2-0.

"We worked hard and fought right to the end. At this time of year, you can't give up anything. It's disappointing to be down," said defenceman Chris Phillips.

"It's a different situation when you look at the score in the series. We'll look at tape and there's still lots of things we did really well and some areas we need to improve. We've just got to stay positive. It's one game."

Senators goalie Ray Emery said he's not concerned.

"There's a pride factor there," said Emery. "Every time we've lost a game, the guys have been able to bear down and get the job done. I'm sure they want to atone for that. Nothing has to be said. I'm sure each guy wants to come back and have a solid game."

Winger Dany Heatley, who had few chances with linemates Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson, said the Senators have to play better as a team because the display against the Ducks wasn't good enough.

"Our strength as a team in these playoffs has been taking it to the other team, getting the puck in deep and forechecking," said Heatley. "(Last night), they did it to us. We didn't play our best game, no question. They stuck to their gameplan and we played ours only a bit."

Spezza tried to put a positive spin on it.

"We were still in that game until the end and that just speaks to the kind of character that we have in this room," said Spezza.

Yes, the Senators will be put to the test tomorrow.

"We didn't start very well. We didn't finish very well and they had a majority of the chances," said coach Bryan Murray.


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