|Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson says he expects a high-tempo start to Game 1 against the Sabres tonight.|
by Todd Anderson
The Ottawa Senators sport a 4-1 road record during the 2007 Stanley Cup playoffs and are 2-0 to open a series so far. They'll be looking to improve both of those records tonight when they start the Eastern Conference final against the Sabres in Buffalo.
While Senators head coach Bryan Murray admits he would prefer to have home-ice advantage for a potential series-deciding seventh game, he's glad that his team will start on the road against Buffalo.
"I like it. I think going on the road, the guys can just go play," Murray says. "They're on the road, they're together. It's a team type of thing. We can sit around and talk. We have to look after each other. I think there are a lot of good things that come out of that. You can just go play a sound game and you don't have to put on any kind of show. Just play to win."
Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson expects to be greeted tonight by a boisterous crowd at HSBC Arena. A good way to silence the Sabres fans would be for Ottawa to score an early goal. So far in these playoffs the Senators are 6-0 when scoring first, and 2-2 when the opposition does.
"We know how important it is on the road to get the crowd out of it," Alfredsson says. "They call it the seventh player for a reason.
"(Buffalo is) probably going to come out and try to get a quick start. That's going to be our challenge, too. It will be a high-tempo game I think. We know what we have to do to beat them. We know it's going to be a tough challenge but we're up for it."
It's common for opposing fans to jeer the visiting goaltender during the playoffs. Murray feels Ray Emery will be motivated to perform well if that's the case in Game 1.
"At this time of year, no matter what building you're in, the fans are going to be very involved with their own team. They want their team to win badly and they'll do and say whatever they have to do to have an effect. I think Ray thrives on that maybe more than any other goaltender in the league."