Sens, Leafs all fired up

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 3:44 PM ET


 There's a take-no-prisoners sentiment brewing in the Battle of Ontario.

 And it's close to boiling over.

 The Senators served notice yesterday that if Toronto winger Tie Domi is going to take his best shots at skilled Ottawa players such Marian Hossa, then the Leafs should expect the same kind of treatment for top centre Mats Sundin and others.

 It should make for a feverish Game 3 tonight at the Corel Centre (7 p.m., CBC, RDS) in the Eastern Conference first-round playoff series, which is tied 1-1. On an off day yesterday, though, there was still plenty of talk about the physical tone the teams set Saturday night.

 While Leafs coach Pat Quinn has given up cigars, that hasn't stopped him from blowing smoke. Witness his claim that Senators winger Vaclav Varada was trying to take out Sundin's knee with a hit late in the third period of Game 2 Saturday.

 Varada said he was only responding to a hard check Domi laid on Hossa earlier in the Senators' 2-0 loss to the Leafs.

 "We want to keep Sundin off the scoresheet," said Varada following a meeting yesterday at the Corel Centre. "If they want to do that to our guys (like Hossa), then nobody is going to let up to finish checks on their best players like Sundin."

 Was Varada's hit on Sundin dirty?

 "I was just trying to finish my check," said Varada. "Everyone knows what Pat Quinn says (and) it doesn't really matter."

 Quinn wasn't the only one vocal in his objection to Varada's hit, which came at the 5:27 mark of the third period. Domi called Varada "one of the dirtiest players" in the game -- a comment that made Varada smile.

 "I don't want to get in a war with a guy like this. There's no point. I've heard all of this before (from Domi)," said Varada."He can say whatever he wants. I heard the same thing last year and I went through the same thing the year before.

 "Coming from him, it makes me laugh."

 Asked by a Toronto reporter if Domi is a clean player, Varada didn't miss a beat: "He's an up and down player who finishes his checks. But I don't know ... I'm not in the shower with him. How do I know if he uses soap or not? This is a battle between two teams and there's a lot of hitting."

 Clearly, Varada has gotten under the Leafs' skin, but Senators coach Jacques Martin said Quinn is dead wrong calling the hit on Sundin dirty.

 "I looked at it very closely a number of times and there was no knee whatsoever," said Martin. "It was similar to the hit that Domi put on Hossa and there wasn't much difference with Sundin and Varada. And I'm still perplexed as to why Varada received four minutes on that one."

 Captain Daniel Alfredsson wouldn't even dignify Quinn's remarks with a response.

 "I don't care what they say. It doesn't matter what they say," said Alfredsson.

 Still, the Sens responded well physically and aim to take the same game plan into Game 3 tonight.

 "Domi ran Hossa early in the game and I believe Varada was just trying to send a message with the hit he gave Sundin at the end of the game," said winger Peter Schaefer. "They got a big hit on one of our top players and we got a big hit in on one of their top players. This is a physical series, but we have to be disciplined and stay out of the penalty box."


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