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Leafs, Sens Battle Boils Over

Wednesday, 05.03.2003 / 10:35 AM / News
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Leafs, Sens Battle Boils Over
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OTTAWA (Ticker) -- The Ottawa Senators' second-ranked power play made the Toronto Maple Leafs pay for their lack of discipline. Colin Campbell gets his shot next.

Radek Bonk, Mike Fisher and defensemen Karel Rachunek and Wade Redden scored power-play goals around a wild melee in the third period as the Senators continued their regular-season dominance of the Maple Leafs with a 4-1 victory.

The goals by Bonk, Fisher and Redden came during three of Ottawa's four two-man advantages as Toronto spent most of the game filing in and out of the penalty box.

Things got hairy in the third period.
Courtesy Leafs TV
"The way hockey's played today, one team can't have so many penalties and expect to win," Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn said.

"Sometimes we get frustrated when we don't get the results we want. What I really feel, I can't tell you because I've got kids to look after. The problem we have is we're not allowed to say anything."

With just over 12 1/2 minutes to go in the third period, Maple Leafs center Travis Green took a retaliatory charging penalty.

Moments later, teammate Darcy Tucker skated to the Senators' bench and began trading punches, first with Chris Neil and then with Shane Hnidy.

Tucker told teammates he went after Neil because the Senators winger spit at him.

"He's one of the most stand-up guys I know. He wouldn't lie about a thing like that," Green said. "I believe him."

"They can say whatever they want to say, I know what I did and didn't do," Neil said. "That's one thing, I definitely wouldn't spit. I made a clean hit on Green and he didn't take it well, so he went after Shane. I didn't see Tucker come to the bench until the last second. He high-sticked me and I don't have to take it, so I hit back."

Tucker totaled 42 minutes in penalties after receiving a minor for instigating, a double major for fighting, a misconduct and a double game misconduct. He almost certainly will be called before Campbell, the NHL's executive vice president and director of hockey operations.

Tempers remained frayed and with 83 seconds to play, Toronto tough guy Tie Domi threw punches at Magnus Arvedson and was assessed a double-minor, fighting major, misconduct and game misconduct. That brought the Maple Leafs' total to 111 minutes, compared to 52 for the league-leading Senators.

"It's a joke," Green said. "They lost control out there. If they made a few more calls earlier in the game, this probably wouldn't have happened."

"When Domi jumped Arvy for no reason, I think that's the worst thing," said Ottawa's Patrick Lalime, who made 16 saves. "You don't want to see those things in hockey."

Ottawa was 4-for-11 on the power play, completed a 3-3-0 homestand and moved one point in front of idle Dallas for first place in the NHL standings. The Senators are 15-4-1 in the last 20 regular-season meetings with Toronto, the team that has eliminated them from the playoffs each of the last three years.

"We stuck to our game plan. The difference was the power play, obviously," Hnidy said.

Green had the lone goal for the Maple Leafs, who have lost four of six following a five-game winning streak.

"At the start of the game, we looked ready to play. It's impossible to win the game when you're always playing shorthanded," Toronto captain Mats Sundin said. "It's as simple as that. We were playing against Ottawa, one of the best power-play teams in the league."

The Senators had not scored a power-play goal in three games and trailed after Green beat Lalime on a wraparound 6:02 into the opening period.

But defensemen Richard Jackman and Bryan McCabe were in the penalty box when Bonk tied it at 6:27 of the second. Defenseman Aki Berg was called for high-sticking at 7:43 and Ottawa needed just 17 seconds to take the lead.

Toronto nearly got the puck out of its zone, but Fisher ended up beating Ed Belfour from the high slot for his 14th goal.

Rachunek ended a 50-game drought with 6:47 to go in the period.

He drifted down from the blue line, got a pass from Shaun Van Allen in the slot and wristed a shot off the bottom of Belfour's glove and into the net.

Redden finished off the scoring 31 seconds after the incident at the Senators' bench, beating Belfour with a wrister from the edge of the left faceoff circle.

"I think it was kind of boring in a way," Lalime said. "It was a good start, but after that, it was all penalties. That took away from the tempo and the clean hits."
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