The Detroit Red Wings have won their fourth straight game, knocking off the Ottawa Senators for the first time this season. Daniel Alfredsson returned back to Ottawa for the first time after being signed by the Red Wings in free agency this past summer. With a two minute tribute to the Senators’ ex-captain right before puck drop, the vibe of happiness at the Canadian Tire Centre was clearly evident.“It was a great tribute to him at the start from the fans, and obviously he wanted to pay tribute to the organization that looked after him and his family for all those years, and I thought it was important our team play well,” head coach Mike Babcock said.
Alfredsson was asked after the game about his feelings towards the tribute that was in his honor prior to Sunday’s match up.
“Well, it’s hard to describe,” Alfredsson said. “How do you feel you deserve to be cheered on like that after all you do is play hockey? It’s kind of surreal at times to have that feeling, but it’s a mutual feeling. I feel I definitely respect this city, this team as well, and I thought once the puck dropped the crowd also did the right thing and cheered on their team.”
The Wings have lost both games at Joe Louis Arena to the Senators in dramatic fashion this season, getting outscored by the Sens 10-3. But this time, the boys were playing with a bit more drive and determination. The excitement of Ottawa fans was short-lived after Alfredsson assisted Johan Franzen in the first and then sealed the game for the Wings with an empty netter.
“The first time we played against them we played poorly, and the second time we lost our discipline, so it was important obviously to respond here (Sunday), for Alfie and for the guys,” said. “It’s important, and the guys care about him and wanted him to have a big night here.”
The team has outscored their opponents 18-4 in their past four, something they have not done all season. Secondary scoring from players that are having breakout seasons including Darren Helm, Gustav Nyquist, Drew Miller and Tomas Tatar have all produced some sort of productivity in the Red Wings’ stretch as of late. Amongst these four young players, they have accumulated 29 points over the course of the season.
The youngsters on the team have heavily benefited from Alfredsson being a veteran of the league for 18 seasons. Teaching and working with the best in the game is what gives a younger player the confidence to go out on the ice and produce, especially when a player has to overcome adversity to come out and play a game that is emotional distracting.
“I think for Alfie it was a huge game, and an emotional one, coming back, and for him to get that goal at the end, that’s a huge goal for us,” Miller said. “They were pressing there and he gets the open-net goal, so it’s huge for our team.”
The Detroit Red Wings had the lead from the start and never lost it. With the Senators pressuring with one minute left in the game, netting one past Jonas Gustavsson, Alfredsson knew that he had to seal the deal, and he did.
The team will attempt to continue their streak on Wednesday, December 4 at 8 p.m. at Joe Louis Arena.
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Information from the Detroit Red Wings was used in this report.
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No goals recorded
DET – 8:22 – J. Franzen (Snap) (J. Kindl, D. Alfredsson)
DET – 11:13 – D. Miller (Snap) (T. Tatar, N. Kronwall)
OTT – 14:14 – C. MacArthur (Snap) (M. Michalek, C. Phillips)
DET – 1:58 – D. Miller (Wrist) (B. Smith, D. Helm)
OTT – 18:39 – M. Zibanejad (Snap) (E. Karlsson, Z. Smith)
DET – 18:57 EN – D. Alfredsson (Wrist) (J. Abdelkader, N. Kronwall)
First: Drew Miller
(2G, +1, 3 shots, 15:28 TOI)
Second: Erik Karlsson
(1A, 2 shots, 29:00 TOI)
Third: Daniel Alfredsson
(1G, 1A, +2, 2 shots, 2 hits, 16:33 TOI)