Sens lineup Cup ready

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:47 AM ET

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Daniel Alfredsson likes what he sees.

What he hears and feels, too, with this Senators team as the NHL trade deadline looms at 3 p.m. tomorrow.

With rumours swirling the Senators are talking to a number of teams -- including Florida (Olli Jokinen), Vancouver (Todd Bertuzzi), Phoenix (Shane Doan), St. Louis (Eric Weinrich, Dallas Drake), Pittsburgh (Ryan Malone) and Chicago (Mark Bell, Tyler Arnason) -- the Senators captain said he thinks what the team has right now could be good enough.

"If the GM can improve the team, he's going to do that," said the Senators captain yesterday, "but at the same time, we know we have a really good team here. Right here, right now, as players, we feel comfortable going into the playoffs with this team."

ON HOT STREAK

The Senators are on a five-game winning streak going into tonight's game with Jokinen's Florida Panthers and there's not much to quibble about with the way the Senators are playing right now.

Coming off a 4-0 win over the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning, the Senators have been getting solid goaltending from rookie Ray Emery in relief of injured starter Dominik Hasek. Emery picked up his second shutout of the season Monday night and has now allowed just eight goals in his last five starts.

The big line of Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley is clicking again and the Senators are getting contributions from the other three lines, as well.

"The biggest thing is a lot of people have developed into responsible players," said Senators coach Bryan Murray. "We've been talking a lot about what it takes to be successful."

The fourth line of Antoine Vermette, Chris Kelly and Christoph Schubert scored the Senators first goal against the Lightning on a nice play by Schubert, who continues to impress with his development. The defenceman-turned-forward made a nice play to set up Vermette.

Centre Mike Fisher has elevated his play between Peter Schaefer and Chris Neil and rookie Patrick Eaves has been good with Bryan Smolinski and Vaclav Varada.

With four lines going, Murray has been able to pare back the top line's minutes a bit, enabling them to be fresher when they are on the ice.

With the fourth line and the Smolinski unit more than holding their own, Murray is in a good situation.

"When you have the other two lines creating offence, it makes it a lot easier to coach," said Murray. "They seem to have more energy and more focus. They've bought into being responsible."

NOTES: Hasek is continuing to work back in Ottawa with strength and conditioning coach Randy Lee, and is looking forward to the chance to test his injured groin in practice. "I guess what he said was, 'I know I can skate, I want to go on the ice and practise with the team," said Murray. "He's doing everything Randy has asked of him and more, the stretching and strengthening work." ... Murray likes the way Schubert has developed as an NHL player this season. "He's showed now he can be a player up front with his speed and ability to make contact and he's got a big shot," said Murray. "Schubie's going to get a fair amount of hockey now."


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