January 31, 2004
TORONTO (AP) -- The Toronto Maple Leafs intensified their rivalry with the Ottawa Senators by avenging an embarrassing loss.
Gary Roberts scored two of Toronto's four power-play goals to help the Maple Leafs beat Ottawa 5-1 on Saturday night.
Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson enraged the Maple Leafs after he broke his stick in Ottawa's 7-1 rout on Jan. 8 and faked throwing it in the stands, poking fun at Toronto's Mats Sundin, who was suspended for throwing his broken stick into the stands.
The Maple Leafs targeted Alfredsson on Saturday, drawing eight penalties in the first period alone. Toronto fans booed Alfredsson every time he touched the puck.
| Clearly these teams just don't like each other. |
(Graig Abel Photography)
Toronto enforcer Tie Domi received five penalties with 25 seconds left in the game, including a game misconduct and an unsportsmanlike conduct for instigating a fight with Ottawa's Shuan Van Allen.
Domi was angered that Alfredsson kneed Sundin late in the third. He also didn't like that Van Allen whacked Sundin and goalie Ed Belfour with his stick.
"We didn't try to hurt any of their guys. We didn't try do anything stupid. Those things were uncalled for," Domi said.
Van Allen said Domi "gouged his eyes."
Domi denied it.
"They can say whatever they want. I didn't gouge anybody. I've been in this league a long time, over 3,000 penalty minutes, I've never gouged a guy in my whole career," said Domi, who took exception to Van Allen's jaw protector.
"He thinks he's untouchable because he wears something around his chin. If he's going to play the way he does, and go after our best players, and butt-end our captain and spear our goalie, he better be expecting something to come."
Alfredsson said Domi "embarrassed" the league by going after Van Allen.
"I don't want to comment on that guy. I lost a lot of respect for him," Domi said of Alfredsson. "He tried to take out our best player. He could have really put a damper on our season."
With the victory, Toronto coach Pat Quinn became just the fourth coach in NHL history to win 600 regular-season games, joining Scotty Bowman, Al Arbour and Dick Irvin. Toronto's Ed Belfour also passed Tony Esposito for fourth on the win list with his 424th.
The Senators, who entered the game with the top-ranked power play in the league, couldn't take advantage of the man advantage against Toronto, finishing 1-for-14.
"We were trying to set a new record for penalties," Toronto's Bryan McCabe said. "It was a lot of fun. Everyone stuck together."
The Maple Leafs entered the game in a 0-for-25 slump on the power play, but went 4-for-7 against Ottawa.
Toronto forward Owen Nolan returned to the lineup for the first time in nearly a month after getting high-sticked in his left eye. Nolan wore a protective visor, and Domi also wore a visor.
Domi talked about wearing one after Toronto's Darcy Tucker also sustained an eye injury after a high-stick on Jan. 20, but Domi didn't until Saturday. Domi took off his visor before fighting Ottawa's Shane Hnidy in the first period.
Domi said he probably won't wear a visor again.
"It's tough. At least I tried. If something happens I can explain to my wife and kids that I didn't feel comfortable doing my job with that thing on," Domi said.
Mats Sundin, Robert Reichel and Alex Ponikarvosky also scored for the Maple Leafs, who are first overall in the Eastern Conference with 69 points. Ottawa could have overtaken Toronto with a victory.
The Senators did score a power-play goal after Toronto's Karel Pilar received a penalty for cross checking Alfredsson in the first period. Less than a minute later, Alfredsson scored on a one-timer, giving Ottawa a 1-0 lead.
Reichel put a loose puck past goalie Patrick Lalime with one minute left in the first, and Sundin gave Toronto a 2-1 lead by scoring on a two-man advantage at 10:55 of the second.
Roberts tipped Reichel's shot on the power play, giving Toronto a 3-1 lead a mere second before the end of the second. The officials reviewed the play to see it was too late.
Ponikarvosky made it 4-1 on the power play at 9:29 of the third. He has six points in his last five games. Game Notes
: Ottawa forward Jason Spezza didn't return after bruising his left leg in the first. ... Nolan has had headaches and blurred vision since Buffalo's Jay McKee high-sticked him in a game Jan. 3. The Toronto player had laser surgery two days later and missed 12 games.