by Todd Anderson
This evening's game brings a new challenge for the Ottawa Senators. The players will count on the home crowd to assist them in winning their second-straight game and cut their Eastern Conference semifinal deficit to 3-2 against the Buffalo Sabres.
"(The fans) will be a big part of this," captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "We can't do it without them."
While the club intends to build on the momentum gained after a 2-1 win in Game 4 on Thursday, they know another solid effort will be needed tonight.
"We know last night doesn't matter tomorrow," Alfredsson said after a team meeting on Friday. "We have to come out with our best effort, get pucks in deep and make (Buffalo) work hard."
No result other than a victory will do.
"We live to fight another day and we're coming home with the momentum," Mike Fisher said.
Coach Bryan Murray is expecting his players will have the same focus as they had heading into the last game.
"The way we approached the game was real positive. We set the tone early with good contact and scoring chances. Everyone made a commitment to not be the reason we didn't win. We have to have the same approach (tonight)."
In Game 4, Brian Pothier potted his first NHL playoff goal as Ottawa opened the scoring for the first time in the series. Thursday's win was only the first step in his team's journey to bouncing back in the series.
"It's about short-term goals," Pothier said. "I thought we had a great first period and third period. We kept things simple. In the second period we tried to be a bit too creative again."
Sniper Dany Heatley agrees with Pothier's comments.
"We just have to get into their end and play against their defence. The key for us is being real simple."