Mark Carkner and Colton Orr went toe-to-toe in a fight that lacked finish — except for Orr’s fingers.
As the Maple Leafs tough guy left the ice Saturday night at Scotiabank Place, he waved three fingers in the air, claiming his third victory in four fights vs. Carkner this season.
A victory without a knockout punch.
“He was probably celebrating because he had three shifts in the game or something,” said Carkner.
Orr sought out Carkner for Round 4, but there weren’t many punches thrown or landed. Orr had Carkner tied up while the two danced near the boards. Orr landed a few before taking Carkner to the ice with 1:55 left in the first.
“(It was) heat of the moment,” Orr said of his salute to the crowd. “It was a hard-fought game and a lot of our fans were here.”
Carkner was looking to even the score after being KO’d the last time in Toronto.
“Am I looking for it? What do you think? I’ll just let everyone guess,” Carkner said before the game. “You never know. I always say that every game is a different game and some games I expect that and it doesn’t happen. You never know.”
Don Cherry wasn’t impressed with Orr’s antics.
“Is there no honour in this game?” Cherry asked on Coach’s Corner. “He goes off the ice holding three fingers?”
The bout of illness plaguing the Senators’ dressing room rekindled memories of the “The Flu Bowl” between the Battle of Ontario rivals six years ago. Also short-handed on Feb. 5, 2004, the Senators pulled out to a 4-0 lead, only to lose 5-4 in OT. Adding insult to illness was Leaf Owen Nolan, who scored the winner, then when told half the Senators were sick, responded with “Boo hoo.” Senators C Chris Kelly remembers that night vividly.It was his NHL debut after being called up from Binghamton. “(The bench) was thin. It wasn’t thin to start, but guys seemed to leave,” he said. “It was just one of those crazy games. I expected to play a few minutes that night and ended up playing about 15 minutes. I guess you could say it was my welcome to the NHL.”
Andy Sutton was excited about his first Battle. “It doesn’t get any more exciting than this, especially growing up a Leaf fan and now I’m a Senator,” said the Kingston native, who was acquired from the Islanders at the trade deadline. “If there wasn’t any emotion before, there’s more now. It’s going to be awesome.” Sutton said he was going to have to get his family to switch allegiances. “I don’t know if I’ll ever get my dad (Nigel) to switch, I think his blood is blue,” Sutton said with a laugh. C Matt Cullen, acquired from the Hurricanes, was given a head’s up from his teammates on what to expect. “They tell me it can be a little like playing a road game (with all the Leafs fans in the stands).” It was funny to watch Dion Phaneuf bounce off Sutton in the first and fall to the ice when he was trying to send a message.
This ’n’ that
Leafs D Tomas Kaberle will be moved before the draft. He submitted a list of three teams — possibly the Rangers, Bruins and Flyers — where he’d be willing to go on deadline day. Kaberle would rather not play in the Western Conference ... Lots of bathroom humour because of the flu bug. Recalling the game against Leafs in 2004, D Chris Phillips didn’t miss a beat. “There were guys, under normal circumstances, who wouldn’t have been in the lineup, but they were almost forced to play. We just ran out of gas, pardon the pun.” ... A sign the Senators were short-handed: Their power-play goal was Chris Neil from Phillips and Jason Spezza.
Around the boards
Called up in the afternoon, C Zack Smith was with the club’s AHL affiliate in Glens Falls, N.Y., and entered the game in the first period ... For those who circled April 3 for Daniel Alfredsson’s 1,000th game, that date is going to have to be changed. He was scratched with the flu and is now scheduled to complete the feat on April 6 vs. Florida.
The last word
The Senators invited gold-medal ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, along with three-time gold medallist Jennifer Botterill, to drop the puck. There was a huge, loud well-deserved standing ovation.