|Senators hatch "secret" plans for Ducks|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 01 June 2007 11:26|
For The Associated Press|
OTTAWA (AP) -The Ottawa Senators may have a surprise or two for the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night. They better if they want to avoid falling into a 3-0 deficit.
On the eve of the first Stanley Cup finals game in Ottawa in 80 years, the Senators held a team meeting prior to Friday's practice at Scotiabank Place.
Goalie Ray Emery wasn't about to divulge what coach Bryan Murray discussed with his team, which flew home from Anaheim on Thursday after dropping the first two games of the finals on the road.
``I don't want to get in trouble,'' Emery said.
Veteran defenseman Chris Phillips shed a bit of light on Ottawa's plans.
``It's top-secret plays,'' Phillips joked. ``But it was an upbeat meeting, talking about some things in the gameplan that we'd like to do differently. And for the most part, it was a positive meeting.''
As for Murray, he wasn't particularly concerned about the need for outward displays of excitement from his players, at least not Friday.
``The enthusiasm starts at 8 o'clock (Saturday) night,'' Murray said. ``It doesn't mean a thing today.''
For center Mike Fisher, the message was clear.
``We've got to realize the situation we're in and we've got to be desperate,'' Fisher said. ``We can't hang our heads and loll around about being down 2-0. We've just got to do something about it. We've just got to be focused on what we have to do and the gameplan, and make sure our battle level gets a little higher.''
Ottawa's top line of Heatley, Jason Spezza and captain Daniel Alfredsson not only failed to generate any offense in the series-opening road losses, the potent trio was also on the ice for both of Anaheim's game-winning goals.
Spezza acknowledged the play of the Ducks' checking line of Samuel Pahlsson, Rob Niedermayer and Travis Moen, though he placed more blame on himself and his linemates for the line's lack of production in the two losses.
re we make them in the right areas of the game.''
While home ice will afford Ottawa the opportunity to set up favorable line matchups, Heatley downplayed its significance.
``It'll give us a little advantage here and there but eventually we're going to have to play against that line,'' Heatley said.
Senators center Mike Comrie pointed out that it isn't only the top line that has been held off the scoresheet so far. Both of Ottawa's goals in Monday's series-opening 3-2 loss came on the power play.
``I think the way our first line has played all playoffs has been one of the reasons we've had success, but when you get to this point, you need secondary scoring,'' Comrie said. ``You need everyone to chip in. You win as a group.''
Game 3 will be the city's first Stanley Cup finals game since Apr. 13, 1927, when the original Senators beat Boston to claim their 11th and final championship.
It will also be Ottawa's first home game in 17 days. In fact, the Senators have only played three road games since losing the fourth game of the Eastern Conference final to the Sabres on May 16.
``I expect a great crowd, an emotional crowd,'' Murray said. ``I think people believe that our guys are going to make the best effort they possibly can. That's all we'll ask of anybody. And I think as long as we're not too hyper at the beginning of the game, things will be in good order.''
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