Focus on your goals

DEREK PUDDICOMBE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:18 AM ET

The only way the Ottawa Senators have a chance at winning tonight's game: Don't get overwhelmed, focus and take one period at a time.

That's the advice from Paul Henderson, the man who under seemingly insurmountable odds scored the winning goal with 34 seconds remaining in Game 8 of the 1972 series for Team Canada and saved them from being humiliated after being down 3-1 against the Russians.

"The key is playing one period at a time. Don't get ahead of yourself. Focus on the period," Henderson said from Toronto yesterday. "That's what we did in '72. Then after you win that game, you begin thinking about the next game."

STAY POSITIVE

That's how Henderson, who also scored the game winners in Games 6 and 7, recalled the way Team Canada approached the final three games of the now-famous Canada/Russia series after coming close to losing the match.

"I remember saying that to the boys in the dressing room," he said. "That's exactly what you have to do."

Henderson said as soon as the Sens finish the first period they have to focus on the second and then the third.

"Concentrate on the positive, don't think about anything negative," he said. "If I was coaching them that's what I'd be telling them."

If they proceed with the advice from one of Canada's most famous hockey players, who scored the most famous goal in Canadian hockey history, the Sens just might go on to win the Stanley Cup.

"Everybody knows what they have to do," said Henderson. "Anything can happen."

But to win period by period, Henderson said Ottawa's No. 1 line has also got to produce like it did earlier in the playoffs and regular season.

"The big line is going to have to start scoring," he said, adding that the team also has to believe they can win.

They can't, Henderson said, arrive in Anaheim thinking they have to win the next three games.

EMOTIONAL TIME

"You'll get overwhelmed if you start thinking that way," said Henderson. "Emotionally, you have to get that out of the way."

Henderson looks back at the series against the Russians and says for a team down by so many games, and with a reputation on the line, it's tough not to get despondent, but putting in the effort and concentrating on the win is worth some of the frustration that comes along with it.

"It was such an emotional time for us," said Henderson, who stayed on the bench after the goal. "I was petrified to play the last seconds. I had nothing left. It was unbelievable."


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