It was a close shave. The Senators victory over Toronto last night, that is. Not the high-stick Dominik Hasek gave Tie Domi with just over 2 1/2 minutes to play.
Not according to the Senators goalie, anyway.
"I would like to see the replay ... I think I just got his jersey," Hasek said of the incident, which saw Domi skate through his crease, then go down like he was sliced open after contacted by the goalie's paddle. No blood was spotted, but then the Leafs tough guy never did cut easily.
"I don't know why he was so upset. I think he was just pretending."
Perhaps. Probably. But Hasek was still given a penalty the Senators could only kill 16 seconds off before Nik Antropov scored to pull the Leafs within a goal.
That's the way it stayed, however, as the Senators took two more points at The Bank with a 4-3 win over their favourite whipping boys.
"We knew they were going to play better," said Hasek, referring to the improvement from Saturday's 7-0 can-kicking. "But we found a way to win."
Then, a parting shot.
"We have lots of confidence to beat anybody, especially Toronto," Hasek said. "When we play well, when we play the way we're suppose to, we can beat them anytime."
Starts and Stops:
Vaclav Varada was steaming after being run at by Carlo Colaiacovo in the first period, a scary moment that saw the Leafs defenceman crash into the boards, then lifted from the ice by a stretcher. He did not return and was said to have a concussion, but otherwise should be okay. "It felt like somebody hit me in the head, but at first I didn't know what happened," said Varada, who suffered a 10-stitch cut above his left eye. "I saw him lying there, but I had no puck and I was really upset he came after me like that. He hit me, but I wasn't the puck carrier. I started skating around and I was yelling that there should have been an interference penalty on him. I was really upset. " When Varada went to the dressing room for repairs, he said no doctors were around. "They were all on the ice, then they came in and stitched me up."
Finally showing up for the back-to-back jacks in Ottawa last night was Leafs captain Mats Sundin, who has the same number of goals (10) in 36 games this season as young Patrick Eaves has in 24. (Think that might be part of Toronto's problems?) ... It may not have been the best penalty to take, but No. 13 sent Jason Spezza sliding along the ice on his backside 13 seconds into the night. Still, it was one hit more than the Leafs made while bowing meekly to the Sens on Saturday. "It's tough to be physical when you arrive there and the puck is already gone," D-man Wade Belak said at the morning skate. Added Leafs coach Pat Quinn: "We're not a crashing team anymore. Some of the guys who used to do that are elsewhere now." Yeah, they really do miss Gary Roberts, don't they. "The Leafs come out on top every night," is the wording on a Toronto-based Sportsnet truck in town for a visit. What does that even mean?
Tie Domi doesn't fight much anymore, but he did get his back up when The Score's Patricia Boal asked him at the morning skate why the Leafs didn't at least try to set a "tone" for the next game late in Saturday's match. "You guys all think too much about that stuff," he said, perhaps failing to realize Trish is very much not a guy. "You guys haven't been in a fight or played the game, you don't know what you're talking about. Just let the game play itself out." ... Personally, I think she might be able to take him ... Chris Neil and Domi squared off in the first, after Ottawa had gone up 2-0, and the Senators' No. 25 earned the decision with a flurry while his jersey was pulled over his face and also by knocking Domi to the ice. After the scrap, Neil tapped a "good one" on the back of the former champ, then did something of a victory lap before heading toward the dressing room, receiving congratulatory handshakes even from assistant coach John Paddock on the way ... In a second-period tilt, Brian McGrattan's endurance prevailed, as he beat Belak with a TKO.
SOME THINGS WORTH NOTING...
BEST OF THE NIGHT: Jason Spezza's pass (between a startled Tomas Kaberle) to set up Daniel Alfredsson's 30th goal of the year for the Senators. Outrageous ... Mike Fisher's shot for his 17th goal of the season, after taking a feed from Peter Schaefer, who was behind the net ... Schaefer's rejection of a Jason Allison hit in the first period. Basically, he sent the much bigger man to the ice with apparent ease ... Bryan Smolinski's backhander past Maple Leafs goalie Ed Belfour in the third for his 10th goal of the season.
CHANGE AT TOP: Sometimes, the question is better than the answer. "Pat, can I ask you about tonight. It looks like, according to the polls, that the Conservatives are going to get in. Is a change at the top sometimes good?" CBC's Dan Seguin posed to the embattled Leafs coach after the morning skates. Quinn smiled while everyone else chuckled, then replied: "We've talked about that enough. We're interested in tonight's outcome and that's what we're going to focus on." We can only assume he meant the game and not the elections.