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Leafs' Kadri comes back to haunt Senators again in 4-0 shutout

The SportsXchange

OTTAWA - Moments before former Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke made his selection at the 2009 NHL entry draft, the TV cameras caught him asking his Ottawa Senators counterpart if he liked Nazem Kadri.

Bryan Murray, who was waiting to pick after the Leafs, confirmed his team was high on the London Knights center.

"Well, we're taking him," Burke told Murray.

True to his word, Burke chose Kadri, and Saturday at Scotiabank Place the Senators were once again left wishing things had turned out differently.

Kadri's natural hat trick turned a close game into a route as the Leafs handed the Senators their worst home ice defeat of the season, a 4-0 whitewashing in front of 20,183 fans whose allegiances again seemed to be split evenly in the Battle of Ontario.

Kadri completed a four-point night with an assist on a goal by Joffrey Lupul, who also had four points with assists on each goal by Kadri.

"I don't want to rub it in their face too, too much, but I want to make it known that they could have had me," said Kadri, who now has 17 goals on the season and became the first Leaf to score two hat tricks in the same season since Alex Mogilny did 10 years ago.

Sharing the spotlight was Leafs goalie James Reimer, who stopped all 31 shots he faced for his second shutout of the season and eighth of his career.

"I'm not sure why, I don't know if you can put a reason to it, but it is a fun place to play," said Reimer, who has a 7-1-1 record and three shutouts in nine career games versus Ottawa. "Just with the atmosphere and the Leafs fans and the Sens fans, it makes for a good game. It's an easy game to get up for.

"The guys were blocking shots in front of me, there was probably two or three times when they had an open net, and our (defenseman) got a foot or a hand or a leg or something in the way. Any time you get a shutout it's indicative of how well your team played in front of you."

Lupul's period power play goal with Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson serving two minutes for a hooking infraction in the offensive zone was the only damage inflicted in a first period that had Toronto outshooting Ottawa by an 11-5 count.

Still, the Senators would have been in a more comfortable spot had a Colin Greening goal not been nullified by a quick referee's whistle and Guillaume Latendresse not been stoned by Reimer on a breakaway.

Latendresse had another breakaway in the second but shot wide.

"I've got to score on those chances," he said.

Kadri's first of the night came at 12:45 of the second period, with an extra attacker on the ice as a delayed penalty was being called on Ottawa's Chris Neil.

Approximately 25 caps were thrown over the glass as he completed the ‘trick with a pair 2:04 apart early in the third.

"I wasn't really surprised when it happened, because there was obviously so many (Leafs fans) there," Kadri said. "It was definitely a lot different scenario than in Long Island when there was only five or six (caps tossed over the glass).

"Leafs Nation is everywhere. We obviously appreciate the support and we want to give back as much as we can. To see everyone, and especially at the start of the game that ‘Go Leafs Go' chant was whistling throughout the whole building. It kind of got everyone going."

Leafs coach Randy Carlyle felt his team needed a strong start against the Senators, who are now 13-3-3 in their own building.

"Anytime you can have a decent start on the road it gives you a chance and puts more pressure on the home team to perform," said Carlyle. "We tried to make sure we were going to draw the first power play, have the first hit, create the first scoring chance. We tried to be a night of firsts for us and we just tried to build off that."

The Senators, whose only two other regulation time losses this season were by one goal, did not get the goaltending to which they have become accustomed. On the heels of his own 3-0 shutout of the New York Rangers Thursday, Ben Bishop made just 19 saves against the Leafs.

"It doesn't matter what the scoring chances are, shots on goal are and it doesn't matter what all the other stats say," stated coach Paul MacLean. "They got four (goals) and we got zero. It's in our rink and it's a little bit humbling."

Senators tough-guy Matt Kassian agreed.

"They wanted it more than we did," he said. "We've been good at home, but that wasn't good enough. The scoreboard doesn't lie. We need to be better."

The Leafs are now 5-0-3 in their last eight games while the setback halted Ottawa's winning streak at three games. The result also leaves the Leafs and Senators tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference with 44 points each.

NOTES: Lupul's first period goal was his eighth in six games around a two-game suspension and since returning from the injury list. ... The Maple Leafs scratched defenseman Jake Gardiner for a second consecutive game. ... Center Peter Regin and defenseman Mike Lundin were Ottawa scratches for the second game in a row. ... The Senators, who entered the night with a 13-2-3 home record, leave Monday for their longest road trip - six games in 12 days - while the Women's World Championships are held in Ottawa. ... Canadian TV icon Don Cherry was on the ice, with microphone in hand, before the anthem. In his short spiel, Cherry told the packed house he was "looking forward to Kassian and (Frazer) McLaren to have a good one." His words turned into action as Kassian fought both Colton Orr and McLaren before the 15 minute mark.
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