It's do or die for Sens

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:14 AM ET

A 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks last night is crushing.

What are the odds that the Senators can win three straight games? That's what it'll take to win the Stanley Cup.

Even with the devastating loss, the Senators don't want to give up hope.

But if they play like they did for the last two periods of last night's game at Scotibank Place, in front of 20,500 spectators, it's game over.

Goals by Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley weren't enough as the Ducks pushed Ottawa to the brink of elimination.

"We have to believe," said Senators forward Antoine Vermette. "We don't have any other choice. Now, we need to take it one game at a time and believe we can come back from this."

With Ottawa defenceman Wade Redden caught up ice, Dustin Penner took a pass from Teemu Selanne on a 2-on-1 and chipped it past a sprawling Ray Emery at 4:07 of the third for the winner.

'We know the opportunity we missed," said centre Jason Spezza. "We know that 2-2 would have been a lot better than what we're in right now. The confidence is shaken, but we're not finished."

Even without suspended star blueliner Chris Pronger, the Ducks didn't miss a beat. Andy McDonald, who had a three-point night, scored twice as the Ducks continued to choke the life of out of the Senators.

The Senators didn't do much to force J.S. Giguere to be strong after the first period.

"We just played like (crap after the first)," said defenceman Tom Preissing.

Alfredsson was lucky he didn't start the third period in the penalty box. He fired a puck that hit Scott Niedermayer at the end of the second and that started a scrum around the Anaheim bench.

With the Ducks clinging to a 2-1 lead, Heatley took a feed from Patrick Eaves and beat Giguere on the glove at 18:00 of the second period to tie it 2-2.

The goal came with Senators coach Bryan Murray juggling his lines to try to get some offence going. Alfredsson was moved to play with Peter Schaefer and Mike Fisher, while Eaves was alongside Jason Spezza and Heatley.

Until then, the Senators had been on their heels for much of the second frame.

Alfredsson scored a buzzer-beater on the power play in the first period to give Ottawa a 1-0 lead.

"We weren't playing well as a team and we needed to do a better job," said Scott Niedermayer.

"We regrouped, we refocused and we played strong from there."


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