The biggest story tonight was Daniel Alfredsson. The 75th player in NHL history to put up 1,000 career regular-season points, and the third Swedish-born to do so--and Alfie did it in style. You're no slouch if you get to 1,000 points by scoring a hat trick--including the game-winner--in a ridiculously close game against a divisional rival. Tough to think of many better ways to hit the milestone
But beyond the Alfredsson storyline--which is inevitably how this game will be remembered--is the story of a game where Ottawa dominated the play in the first period, slowed down quite a bit in the second, and then were completely outplayed in the third. The Senators had a one-goal lead that they very barely held on to, but Brian Elliott, somehow, stopped all 20 shots he faced in the third and gets his second win of the season.
Sens Legend: Daniel Alfredsson
What more can be said? The face of the franchise. The best in modern history. Mr. Ottawa Senator. Great to see the guy get such a historic milestone, and I'm glad that he'll never play an NHL game in another jersey. I'm looking forward to the next 1,000 points.
Sens Hero: Erik Karlsson
Karlsson responded well to being called out by Clouston during the off-week, putting up two assists tonight and generally playing a more reliable game. He only had one shot actually hit the net, but he was shooting more often (Alfredsson's first goal was a deflected Karlsson shot), and he looked a lot more like the player we saw late last season.
Much improved: Peter Regin, Alex Kovalev
Neither of them had a point tonight, but both of them played a lot better. Especially Regin, who was in Sens Hero territory for much of the night, skating very well, supporting his teammates, and controlling the puck. Kovalev, on the other hand, had some great shifts tonight, and had four shots on net tonight.
A not-bad defenceman: David Hale
The Senators weren't looking for much from their number six defenceman: Just be not bad. You don't even have to be particularly good; just don't do anything so horrendous that you stand out. David Hale, in his 16:11 of ice time, did just that. And he even added a shot and a takeaway for good measure.
The new swingman: Brian Lee
With Spezza out as a last-minute scratch, the Senators were forced to play Brian Lee as a right-winger. Of course, I use the term 'play' rather loosely, as Lee only played 1:28 on the night. Probably because he was -1 despite playing less time than anyone else. He'd have seen more ice in his drinks in the press box. But he's the new Christoph Schubert, as Mark pointed out to me: Defenceman playing forward, number five, and
disposed of through re-entry waivers unliked by Cory Clouston.
A bit of a short recap tonight, but that's because I'm excited about Alfie's historic night.