Senators ready to dig in

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:15 AM ET

From a hostile environment in Pittsburgh to the friendly confines of home, the Senators will have a full house of support as they attempt to maintain the advantage in their opening-round best-of-seven series with the Penguins Sunday night.

As of late Saturday, just 50 tickets remained for the 6:30 p.m. start, all but ensuring a sellout.

The Senators stole home-ice advantage when they won Game 1 of the series, which is now tied 1-1. If they win all remaining scheduled games at Scotiabank Place, they will dethrone the defending champs.

“That’s why it’s called home-ice advantage,” said coach Cory Clouston. “You get last change, you’ve got the crowd behind you. We feel comfortable in our building, but that’s certainly not a guarantee. We proved that in their building. You’ve still got to go out and play with that intensity.”

Fans are being encouraged to wear red, which will be a welcome sight to Senators players after a pair of games in front of towel-waving, white-shirt wearing Penguins fans at Mellon Arena.

“We’re home and we want to make the most of it,” said captain Daniel Alfredsson. “We’ve played very well throughout the season at home and we want to continue that, and continue to put pressure on them.”

Said Mike Fisher: “We’re coming home, we have home-ice advantage, and we’re all squared, and we take a lot of positive things from some of the way we played.

“We’ve just got to learn from some of the things we’ve got to get better at. We’ve just got to get excited about (Sunday).”

Key for the Senators will be the play of goalie Brian Elliott, who was quite ordinary in stopping 17 shots during Wednesday’s 5-4 victory. With his first NHL playoff game behind him, Elliott was better in Game 2.

He stopped 29-of-31 shots in the defeat.

“I thought he played very well,” said Clouston. “I thought he was our best player. He allowed us to be in that game. I thought he was very solid and poised.”

don.brennan@sunmedia.ca


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