Ugly end to an ugly game

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:43 AM ET

MONTREAL -- Mats Sundin was a marked man.

The Maple Leafs captain, perhaps the only Toronto player to show up last night, was gooned by Craig Rivet of the Montreal Canadiens midway through the third period, sparking a series of fights, cheap shots and finger pointing the rest of the way.

After jostling with Sundin behind the Montreal net, Rivet broke his stick over Sundin, then yanked him to the ice. Sundin said Rivet's stick cracked him "in the arm" although TV replays suggested it hit him in the head.

During the ensuing scrum, Sheldon Souray appeared to punch a fallen Ben Ondrus from behind. Souray was not penalized on the play.

Leafs general manager John Ferguson did not see the Souray play but suggested the league will review all the incidents.

Watching Rivet go after their captain raised the ire of the Leafs.

"Frustration is one thing," Tie Domi said. "Breaking a stick over the captain's head is another. Everyone responded."

Domi went after Rivet minutes later, then fought Aaron Downey.

The coup de grace came with just 2:05 remaining when Darcy Tucker barely avoided Alexei Kovalev with an elbow. Kovalev responded with one of his own that nailed the Leafs player.

"He tried to hit me and missed but I didn't miss him," Kovalev said. "I was lucky I saw him at the last second."

Asked about possibly being suspended, Kovalev replied, "I don't care."

It's unlikely Tucker will be punished by the NHL, although Colin Campbell has plenty of video to review from this one.

"I hold no-ill will (toward Kovalev)," Tucker said.

Ferguson did not make the same claim.

"(Kovalev) knew what he was doing," Ferguson said. "He threw a major-league elbow right at (Tucker's) head."


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