Work in Sports
TORONTO (Ticker) -- The Toronto Maple Leafs are turning the "Battle of Ontario" into a rout.
Steve Thomas scored twice in a four-goal second period and Curtis Joseph and the Maple Leafs continued to baffle the Ottawa Senators, grabbing a two games to none lead in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with a 5-1 victory.
After blanking Ottawa, 2-0, in Wednesday's series opener, Joseph extended his shutout streak to 99 minutes, five seconds before Sami Salo scored on the power play in the second period. But that was all the Senators mustered as their playoff losing streak reached eight games.
"We're filling lanes and stopping them from getting to the net," Joseph said. "A lot of times, we're winning battles along the boards. We've got some big defensemen, and they're skating really well. And we're winning battles down deep in our zone. That's very important."
Darcy Tucker and Mats Sundin also scored in the second period for Toronto, which got two assists apiece from Jonas Hoglund and Tomas Kaberle.
"We're in control," Thomas said. "We're up two games but we're going to a building that has been tough for us to win in, against a team that is tremendously well-coached. Jacques Martin, he'll have them ready. I think you're going to see a different (Ottawa) team than you saw tonight."
Tom Barrasso stopped 20 shots for the Senators, who have lost nine straight postseason road games but host Game Three on Monday.
"He made two or three excellent saves, and he was trying to give us an idea that he was going to stop everything all night. But we didn't help him out much in the second period," Ottawa defenseman Grant Ledyard said, referring to Barrasso. "He deserves better than that."
The Senators had a 10-8 edge in shots in a scoreless first period. But the roof fell in early in the second as Tucker and Sundin scored on consecutive shots in a 42-second span.
Barrasso stopped Dimitri Yushkevich's slap shot from just inside the blue line, but Tucker tumbled toward the net and put the rebound past the goaltender's glove side for his second goal in as many games.
Sundin did not score in five regular-season meetings with Ottawa but got his second of the series at 1:28. He got the puck at his own blue line, criss-crossed with a teammate in the neutral zone and wove to the top of the slot before putting a wrist shot past Barrasso.
"I didn't score any goals in the regular season (against Ottawa)," Sundin said. "(This was) the first high-paced game. A lot of chances both ways and in the second, we did get some room and Tucker scored the first goal. And we got a little momentum. We were able to capitalize on our chances in the second."
Thomas made it 3-0 just over 2 1/2 minutes after Sundin's goal, converting Toronto's fifth shot of the period. Sundin made a spectacular one-handed pass from the top of the slot and Thomas flicked a one-timer by Barrasso from the low right faceoff circle.
Thomas struck again at 12:46, getting a step behind the defense, cutting to the net and sliding a backhander under Barrasso for his 39th career playoff goal.
Salo finally beat Joseph with 55 seconds left in the period, putting a wrist shot from the top of the slot under the crossbar.
"They were all over us in the second, it was 4-0," Salo said. "We have to forget about this and be ready on Monday."
Sergei Berezin converted Igor Korolev's cross-ice pass into his first playoff goal, capping the scoring with 14:24 left in the third.
Joseph finished with 29 saves, giving him 59 in the first two games of the series.
"It's just a matter of us executing better offensively and making better decisions," Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "Toronto is outplaying us right now and they've created more scoring chances than we did. If we're going to have a chance to win, we have to turn that around."