There’s a new player in the Senators dressing room: Confidence.

What a difference a week makes.

Battling to get out of the doldrums in the midst of a five-game winless skid only a week ago, the Senators were all smiles as they spent Sunday relaxing after a 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday, the club’s third straight win.

Not only have the Senators moved themselves into a playoff position in the Eastern Conference, their performance has improved consistently, and as they prepare to face Philadelphia on Tuesday, the players feel a lot better about themselves.

“It’s funny. You start winning a couple of games and everybody starts getting a lot more confident, and everybody walks around with their heads held a little higher,” said defenceman Marc Methot.

“That’s the sport. It makes you a better team out there, even on days like (Saturday) where we’re expected to win this game. We have those high expectations against teams like that. I thought having a bit of that swagger back in our game is important, and it’s showing out there.”

Coach Paul MacLean has certainly noticed a difference.

“Any time you win and have success it breeds good habits. You recognize that doing things a certain way gives you success, and doing things another way gives you a lack of success,” said MacLean. “I think our attention to detail and attention to the structure of our game has been much better in the last 10 games than it was in the earlier games.

“We’re getting the results from it because we’re sticking to the structure, we’re working hard at it, and when you do those things you can expect at some point to have success.”

The Senators talked a lot about searching for an identity during their losing skid and MacLean believes they’re getting there.

“Anytime you can do things over and over again and have success, that ends up becoming our identity,” he said. “I’m not sure if we’re the Pesky Sens that we were last year.