Optimistic Sens won't roll over

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

ANAHEIM -- They'd prefer to be sitting prettier, of course, but the Senators are comfortable enough with the position they find themselves in, trailing the Anaheim Ducks 3-1 in the Stanley Cup final.

After yesterday's practice at the Honda Center, they were very loose and looking forward to tonight's Game 5 with confidence.

"I think we've kind of changed in the last 12 hours or so," said goalie Ray Emery. "It's just an easier feeling, knowing that every guy is playing with his back against the wall. There's kind of a confidence, realizing if we win one game we're in the same position as we were (Saturday) now (down just one game) and going back home."

As a team, they've been in a similar situation. In the 2003 Eastern Conference finals against the New Jersey Devils, the Senators trailed 3-1 before staging a rally that forced the series to the limit.

They lost Game 7 by a score of 3-2.

"Our mentality back then was just to take it one game at a time," remembered Chris Phillips, who scored the overtime winner in Game 6. Beside him in the dressing room yesterday was Shaun Van Allen, now the Senators' director of player development, who scored the OT winner in Game 1. "When we were down 3-1, Game 5 was all that mattered.

"Our only thought, like (Daniel Alfredsson) said, was just to lay it all out there."

Said Wade Redden: "Win Game 5, get back home, that's our No. 1 focus. We just have to start playing our best hockey, for sure."

Helping matters for the Senators is the fact Dany Heatley broke out of a slump in Game 4. Generally, when Ottawa's top sniper ends a drought, he starts scoring in bunches.

"We look at this as a good challenge," said Heatley. "This is not where we want to be, but we have a chance to do something great here."

Like Emery, Mike Fisher said the Senators seem to have discovered a new sense of confidence.

"We looked at the tapes and we saw the mistakes we made," said Fisher. "We see where we can beat them, or at least have a chance to win. It's simple. We have to go and play our hearts out.

"Obviously, we're disappointed and frustrated about (Monday's loss), but it's all said and done and we have to be in the here and now. We can't let the emotions drag us down.

"They've been close games, and that's a good sign. It's just a matter of eliminating the mistakes."


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