January 8, 2004
TORONTO (AP) -- The Ottawa Senators mocked and embarrassed the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Bryan Smolinski scored and also assisted on two of Ottawa's five first-period goals, and the Senators won their sixth straight with a 7-1 rout of the short-handed Maple Leafs on Thursday night.
The Maple Leafs were missing seven of their best players, including captain Mats Sundin, goalie Ed Belfour, forwards Alexander Mogilny and Owen Nolan and defenceman Tomas Kaberle.
Sundin was suspended Wednesday for one game for throwing his broken stick into the stands.
Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson broke his stick midway through the third period and faked throwing it in the stands, obviously poking fun at Sundin.
Toronto enforcer Tie Domi pointed at Alfredsson after he did it, and Alfredsson's actions enraged Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn.
"If you're going to try and show somebody up you better be ready to pay the price down the line," Quinn said.
| Things got chippy when the game got out of hand. (Graig Abel Photography) |
Toronto's Nathan Perrott didn't like it, either.
"It was not very professional," Perrott said. "They were winning so I guess they had the luxury to do that."
Alfredsson regretted it.
"I was trying to make a joke, but it was bad timing," he said.
Ottawa's Jason Spezza said Alfredsson didn't mean anything by it.
"We have to play them a lot. We respect that team a lot. I don't think he was trying to mock them," Spezza said. "You don't want to hot dog, you don't want to do anything like that because it can come back and bite you."
Smolinski, Chris Neil, Wade Redden and Radek Bonk scored in the first seven minutes of the first.
Redden scored twice for the Senators, who tied a club record by extending their unbeaten streak to 11. Ottawa moved within five points of Toronto for first place in the Northeast Division.
"These games are important because they are like four-point games," Ottawa's Marian Hossa said.
Toronto goalie Trevor Kidd allowed seven goals on 31 shots, including four on the first seven shots.
Fans jeered every time Kidd made a save after he allowed the seventh goal.
"I was looking for a crack to crawl into a few times," Kidd joked. "I chuckled the first time. They are probably just as frustrated as we are. There are no hard feelings."
Ottawa goalie Martin Prusek, starting for the injured Patrick Lalime, made 35 saves.
The Maple Leafs hadn't allowed five goals in a period since allowing five in the third period of a 6-4 loss to Chicago on Feb. 25, 2001.
Neil scored from in front of the net at 2:20. Just more than two minutes later, Redden scored on a slap shot from the blue line.
"It just seemed like it snowballed," Kidd said.
Bonk put a rebound past Kidd at 6:37, and just 12 seconds later, Smolinski skated between two defenceman before putting the puck past Kidd.
Spezza gave Ottawa a 5-0 lead at 12:54. The Senators have never scored five goals in a shorter span.
Twenty seconds later, Toronto's Perrott challenged Shane Hnidy to a fight.
Fans jeered when the first period ended.
Ken Klee scored the lone goal for the Maple Leafs. Game Notes
The Senators, 9-0-2 during their run, hadn't gone 11 games without a loss since a 9-0-2 run from Oct. 25-Nov. 20, 2001. ... Toronto's Robert Reichel and Wade Belak are also sidelined because of injuries. ... Belfour is day-to-day with a strained groin ... Lalime missed the game with a sore back. He hurt it while unlocking his car trunk. ... Ottawa's Martin Havlat returned from a two-game suspension. He kicked New York Islanders defenceman Eric Cairns.