Ottawa - December 31, 2011 - Daniel Alfredsson scored at 3:31 of overtime with a one-timer from a pass by Erik Karlsson to give the Ottawa Senators a come from behind 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames. The goal was Alfredsson’s 400th goal of his career and 11th goal of the season. The Senators scored the winning goal on the power play completing a come back from an early 3-0 deficit in the first period.
As a Senators fan, what else can you say about Daniel Alfredsson. He has been the leader of this team for almost two decades and this year at age 39 he’s single-handedly won 3-4 games for the Senators, often creating a crucial turnover, setting up a winning play with a good pass or scoring the winning goal. Tonight, Alfredsson scored his 4ooth career goal and based on the celebration on the ice you could tell that he is well-respected on this team. All the players were excited for Alfie.
This season he’s put up solid numbers, with 11 goals and 16 assists for 27 points in 32 games. Despite his age he can still play and to be honest with you I think he still has another year in the tank. Make no mistake about it, Daniel Alfredsson and not Jason Spezza is the leader of this team. For his career, Alfredsson has 400 goals and 650 assists for 1,050 points in 1,088 games and is a career plus 135, which is a testament to how well he plays in both ends of the ice.
Alfredsson is a solid contender to be enshrined in the hall of fame once he retires. He brings more than just scoring and defense to the Senators, he brings leadership.
Poor start and bad goaltending
In what has been an occuring theme for the Senators when they lose most nights, the team got off to a poor start and goaltending was a main reason. Alex Auld stopped 12 of 15 shots in the first period. Ottawa’s goaltending has been awful this year. The Senators rank dead last in the NHL with a goals against average of 3.40 and a save percentage of .892. Starting goaltender Craig Anderson ranks 57th in save percentage and 65th in goals against average amongst goaltenders in the NHL. Considering the lack of goaltending its a surprise that the Senators are even 9th in the conference and battling for a playoff spot.
The bad goaltending, especially early in the game, is a big reason why Ottawa has only led after the first period in nine of 38 games this season.
The Senators clawed back from being behind 3-0 at the first intermission. The Senators outshot the Flames 34-17 from the second period on and ended the game out shooting the Flames 49-32 in the game. It was the second time that the Senators have come back from a three goal deficit to win a game. The last time being October 29th in New York when the Senators came back from three goals down to beat the Rangers 5-4 in overtime. Tonight’s game was reminiscent of that one.
To be fair though to Calgary though, the Flames were playing their third game in four nights and got into Ottawa early in the morning on their flight from Long Island. The Flames fought hard in this game and if we can excuse Ottawa for losing a game (overtime loss) in which they were in the same scenario in Carolina just before Christmas, then the Flames should also be excused. The Flames were ripe for the picking but they battled hard right to the end and deserved the point. The Flames were also a little unfortunate to be given the penalty they were. The Flames should’ve gotten a penalty on a couple of plays in overtime, but it was surprising to me that the referees called Rene Bourque on a holding call, which to me was clearly not holding.
Credit to Ottawa though, for not giving up when behind by a 3-0 score and for fighting back. The Senators now travel to Buffalo to play the Sabres where both teams will be playing their third game in four days.