|Senators forward Mike Fisher led Ottawa's penalty killers with an energetic and aggressive performance in Game 1 against Buffalo.|
by Todd Anderson
The Ottawa Senators' penalty killers were brilliant against the high-scoring Buffalo Sabres in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final. In fact, the Senators were so good that not only did they hold Buffalo off the scoresheet during five short-handed situations, but they also scored a goal while playing with one man down.
Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff says his team's power-play troubles were the main reasons for the 5-2 defeat.
"That hurts you. We've got to be better there," Ruff said. "There's no doubt. That's an area where you know they've been very strong in the killing department for the most part and very aggressive. After we had a couple bad ones; I think it just snowballed on us."
Senators forward Mike Fisher opened the scoring for Ottawa with a shorthanded breakaway goal in the opening period. The centre aggressively attacked a Buffalo point-man during a first-period penalty kill, stole the puck at the Ottawa blueline and, after quickly racing down the ice, slipped the puck through the legs of Buffalo goalkeeper Ryan Miller.
"I think because of our pressure and not giving them time, we created turnovers and things like that," Fisher said after practice today. "It's a game of mistakes and it's a matter of pouncing on them and making the best of your opportunities."
Senators head coach Bryan Murray says his assistant, Greg Carvel, deserves a lot of credit for getting the team's penalty killers prepared to face opposing power plays.
"We have people that are willing to work hard and block shots and play their position well. (Carvel and the players) spend a lot of time breaking down power plays of other teams and their tendencies. To this point we've done a good job."