A loud horn blasted at Scotiabank Place every time Ottawa scored in its 7-2 win over the Maple Leafs. “We’ve heard that horn quite a bit here,” said Leafs centre Matt Stajan. “It’s not fun, that’s for sure.” Toronto had already been smarting from a 6-2 loss on home ice on Tuesday before taking another pounding on Thursday.
Heading into Saturday night’s game at Montreal, the Leafs have lost three straight and four of their last five games.
“We did play better (than Tuesday), but it wasn’t good enough,” said Stajan.
After picking up five of a possible eight points to start the season, Toronto has given up 33 goals in the past seven games. Not surprisingly, only two of those have been victories.
Since the lockout ended last fall, the Senators have feasted on the Leafs. In the last 12 meetings between the teams, Ottawa has won 10 times, including three of four this season, and outscored Toronto 57-30 in the process.
The Leafs’ defensive struggles were highlighted Thursday against the speedy Senators.
“We had a few of these games last year and obviously we didn’t learn our lesson,” said Toronto captain Mats Sundin.
Andrew Raycroft, who was pulled after giving up five goals on Tuesday, gave up all seven on Thursday.
“I thought Raycroft played a good game tonight, but as a team, we’ve got to play a lot better defensively,” said Sundin. “Any time you lost two games in a row the way we did, you should be concerned.”
Darcy Tucker laid the groundwork for an intense rematch by going after Ottawa’s Patrick Eaves when the game was out of reach Tuesday, touching off a war of words with the Senators in the buildup to Thursday night.
If he meant to fire up his teammates, he only served to fire up the Senators, who said the only revenge they’d be out for was on the scoreboard.
“They came at us hard in the second period,” Tucker said. “They did what they had to do.”
The Leafs kept it close through the first period, trailing only to a goal by Mike Fisher, but Ottawa scored five times in the second period to blow the game open.
“With a flick of a switch, everything went against us and we were down four or five goals,” Stajan said.