by Todd Anderson
Limited to two points in a 3-2 loss during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final, the Ottawa Senators' No. 1 line of Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley plans to improve its performance in upcoming games.
"We had a couple of good shifts," Alfredsson said during a post-game new conference. "But we can do a little bit better with the puck, make some smarter plays. I think we made it a little bit too easy on them tonight."
The trio holds down the top three positions on the league's playoff scoring list. Spezza and Heatley are tied for first with 21 points, while Alfredsson is ranked third with 18.
Checked by the Ducks' line of Samuel Pahlsson, Rob Niedermayer and Travis Moen in the final, Spezza says his unit has what it takes to prevail in the matchup.
"They did a good job checking (in Game 1), but I don't think it presents more problems than any other checking line. We didn't have our sharpest night as a team, and because of that they got the win.
"It's not so much what they did, it's what we didn't do as a line and a team. We didn't have as much jump. When you don't have jump and you're not hard on pucks, you don't get as many chances."
Senators head coach Bryan Murray continues to preach the same philosophy he has all season. If his team sticks to the game plan, he expects they can win the series.
"We have to get the puck deep more often. We have to create some offence because of that and get their defencemen to give up the line once in a while," Murray says. "They have their checking line and their guys standing up real well because we wouldn't put the puck in.
"We turned the puck over too many times. That was the bottom line as far as giving them chances. We had seven turnovers in the second period, three (resulted in a scoring chances) and one was a penalty. If we don't play better five-on-five than that, then it makes a tough road in this building."
Anaheim goaltender Jean-Sébastien Giguère says he expects Ottawa to be better, and it will take his team's best to hold off the Senators' No. 1 line.
"They're dangerous every time they're out on the ice. That's a great line. I mean, all three of them. They're dangerous with the puck one-on-one and they find the open guy. We have to be smart, positionally."