Beat-up White pays the price

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 3:28 PM ET


 One sliced open lip, after a face plant into the glass, a half-dozen stitches.

 One bruised back, a bag of ice.

 Two sore ankles, another bag of ice.

 A high stick in the mouth and a tongue cut open, another 10 stitches or so.

 A win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, not priceless.

 Senators centre Todd White's face and limbs showed the ravages that come with winning your team's biggest game of the year to date, a 4-1 victory over the Leafs to even their best-of-seven quarter-final at 2-2 heading back to Hogtown for Game 5 tomorrow.

 "All those things didn't bother (White). They didn't faze him," said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson. "He was still winning the battles for loose pucks. Twice in our end, on the (penalty kill) he knocked the puck out of the zone out of mid-air. He played a great game."

 White, who had to have his tongue stitched up after the game and had his mouth frozen, wasn't available for comment.

 But his teammates were.

 "That's paying the price," said defenceman Curtis Leschyshyn, back in the lineup for his first game of the post-season. "He was a huge part of it. But you also had (defenceman) Brian Pothier with a huge shot block. (Winger) Chris Neil came in and fought (Tie) Domi. It's all those little things that don't show up on the scoresheet, but go a long way towards winning, especially in the playoffs."

 The Senators wrestled back the momentum of this series with efforts like White's. He has the most visible evidence of the Senators' commitment last night, but the list of players who elevated their games was long.

 Alfredsson. Centre Mike Fisher, who was given more ice time. Winger Marian Hossa, who scored a goal few in this league are capable of scoring. His teammates were still marvelling at it on the highlight show in the near-deserted gym after the game. Defenceman Chris Phillips.

 Re-establishing the forecheck which had been so effective in Game 1 was a priority and the Senators did a much better job of it last night. A couple of minutes into the game, White charged into the Toronto zone and got a good piece of Leafs defenceman Brian Leetch, their premier puck mover.

 Leetch is a weasel along the boards, gifted with the ability to twist and turn and leave only a small portion of his body available for the hit. He managed to avoid most of White's headlong rush and White ended up the worse for it, getting cut above the mouth by either Leetch's stick or the dasher board, it was hard to tell.

 White left the game for a few shifts and returned with an ugly looking gash.

 Near the end of the first period, with Ottawa's Zdeno Chara in the box, White was out on the penalty kill. He got spun around while heading out to the point to block a shot from Leafs defenceman Bryan McCabe and wound up taking the shot right in the back.

 One of the other priorities for the Senators last night was getting more of a presence in front of Leafs goaltender Ed Belfour, who had too many unobstructed views of shots in Games 2 and 3.

 So there was White, right in the blue paint, while the puck moved around the Toronto zone. Belfour hauled off and delivered a back-handed slash to the back of White's legs.

 Three minutes into the third period, White got his first goal of the playoffs to make it 3-1.

 At the eight-minute mark, he was highsticked in the mouth by Toronto forward Nik Antropov and with Chara screening in front, Phillips buzzed a wrister by Belfour to make it 4-1.

 Long after most of his teammates had left, White still hadn't emerged from the clinic.

 "People look at the scars and bruises and they go away," said Alfredsson. "You look at the wins and they don't go away. They stand."


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