Losing streak at six games

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:01 AM ET

OTTAWA -- The Maple Leafs lost yet again to the Ottawa Senators and although it was only a one-goal setback, moral victories were about as popular in the dressing room as country-wide support was for the Liberals.

With speculation about coach Pat Quinn's job hanging in the air and calls for a roster shakeup, the Leafs' longest losing streak in nine years was extended to six games with a 4-3 defeat at the hands of the Senators last night at Scotiabank Place.

But Toronto, which has lost all six of its games against Ottawa this season, performed with pride, something it did not do in a 7-0 loss to Ottawa on Saturday.

"Say what you want -- it was a better effort but we still didn't get the job done," said Tie Domi, who had a Gordie Howe hat trick with a goal, assist and fight. "You guys all want to point fingers, whether it's coaching or goaltending, well, look at our games and it has nothing to do with coaching. It's simple, basic hockey mistakes that we have to cut out or we are not going to win many games."

A scary incident cost the Leafs defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo early in the game. He suffered a concussion when he slammed face-first into the boards after he collided with Vaclav Varada. Colaiacovo was wheeled off the ice on a stretcher but walked out of the dressing room under his own steam after the game and accompanied the team to Toronto.

"He seems fine," Don Reynolds, Colaiacovo's agent, said. "We were fully prepared to go to the hospital but he had a smile when he left."

Quinn felt Varada took Colaiacovo's feet out, but replays suggested the hit was incidental. Captain Mats Sundin said he thought it was an incidental play as well.

EXPECT CALL TO MARLIES

With Bryan McCabe not yet ready to return from a groin injury, and barring a trade, the Leafs will have to recall a defenceman from the Marlies. Jay Harrison has been perhaps the Marlies' most improved player this season, but a safer bet might be Andy Wozniewski or Brad Brown.

Kyle Wellwood and Nik Antropov also scored for the Leafs, who are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 51 points, one behind the Atlanta Thrashers.

Mike Fisher, Daniel Alfredsson, Wade Redden and Bryan Smolinski scored for Ottawa.

Quinn was not bothered by a reversed penalty with the Sens up 3-1 at 4:01 of the third. Redden was called for delay of game for shooting the puck over the glass, but after the infraction was announced, he was called back out of the box by referee Ian Walsh. The puck was ruled to have gone into the Sens bench, which is not a penalty.

But while Toronto would have been on that power play, Smolinski beat Ed Belfour for the winner.

Though the Leafs were more determined, they are not out of the woods. Dumb penalties and giveaways, as Domi alluded to, helped conspire to beat them.

"At least we gave ourselves a chance at the end of the game to turn a point," Sundin said. "I thought we made some progress. Still a lot of mistakes, but if we (continue)to play like we did (last night) we are going to turn this around."


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