Disappointed in letting the Sabres off the hook once, Ray Emery and the Ottawa Senators arrived in Buffalo yesterday confident they won't let that happen again.
"Not to take anything away from them, they had their backs against the wall and performed," the Senators goaltender said. "But we still believe we control our own destiny. And if we play our game, we're a very tough team to beat, and we'll win more often than not."
The Senators, with a 3-1 lead on the Sabres in the Eastern Conference finals, will get their second crack at clinching their first Stanley Cup finals berth in Game 5 at Buffalo this afternoon.
Rather than being down following a 3-2 loss on Wednesday, the Senators sounded more resolved to end this best-of-seven series.
"It's not pressure. We're excited," Emery said. "We've been playing well. We're in the present, we don't care what we did in the past."
The Sabres, meanwhile, are hoping to draw upon whatever good feelings they've generated after finally figuring out a way to beat their division rivals.
"I think we gained a lot of confidence in Game 4, realizing we can still make plays, can still win games," Sabres co-captain Daniel Briere said. "We still believe."
* With each team managing a split in the other's rink through the first four games, the Western Conference final between the Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks shifts back to Detroit's Joe Louis Arena for Game 5 tomorrow afternoon.
Chris Pronger, a finalist for his second Norris Trophy and the Ducks' leader with 12 points in the postseason, will be back for the fifth game after serving a one-game suspension for hitting Tomas Holmstrom in the head in Game 3.