Senators won't quit now

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:50 AM ET

As the Senators stood at centre ice before what could have been their final practice of the season, coach Bryan Murray gave the players a couple of options heading into tonight's do-or-die Game 4 at Scotiabank Place.

The Senators can either battle to play another day or, with a loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, begin a long summer.

"The guys have a choice: They can play hard, be competitive and it's a one-game-at-a-time situation," said Murray. "Or, you don't play as hard as you're supposed to. I believe we'll go with the choice of playing hard."

Down 3-0 in the best-of-seven series, the Senators say they won't go down without a fight.

"We've put ourselves in a huge hole, but by no means do I think we're done," said Senators defenceman Mike Commodore. "Although coming back from 3-0 has only happened every so often, we've got to believe that we can. It starts (tonight). We'll start with the one and go from there.

"I don't think there's a lack of heart here. We don't mail games in here and I'll be extremely embarrassed if that's the case (tonight). I don't care if we're down 3-0. We're at home for one and this is the playoffs. We've got some team pride and personal pride ... it's going to be a good effort."

That's about the only option the Senators have. Only two teams in NHL history -- the 1942 Maple Leafs and the 1975 New York Islanders -- have won a series after being down 3-0. Murray suggested to his players they approach this game like a tournament where you need to win one to stay alive.

"Everybody here has been down in a series. A lot of these guys have been to the Stanley Cup final," said Senators winger Cory Stillman. "We can't accept (the situation). We can't just show up (tonight) ... we've got to come play and be ready. It's been done before. People have come back from 3-0."

15-2 START

Getting swept would be the ultimate slap in the face. With the exception of a couple of new faces, this is essentially the same team that looked like it was heading for a record-setting season with a 15-2 start. It's been downhill from there.

Are the Senators embarrassed with what's happened?

"A little bit," said Senators centre Jason Spezza, who has an assist in the three playoff games against Pittsburgh. "It's frustrating more than embarrassing. We don't think we should be in this position. We don't want to be in this position. I just think we're frustrated. Embarrassed would mean we didn't go out and try or we didn't give an effort or folded the tent.

"Nobody in this room wants to lose. We don't know why this season turned awry at Christmas. We've been frustrated now for a while and I think it has just compounded."

If the Senators force a Game 5, it will be played Saturday afternoon in Pittsburgh.


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