Alfredsson completes comeback with 400th goal

With his parents and a capacity crowd of 20,500 watching, Daniel Alfredsson’s 400th goal ended up being one of the more dramatic of his excellent career — and one of the more timely.

Alfredsson completes comeback with 400th goal
Kyle Turris #7 of the Ottawa Senators scores during the shootout against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on April 13, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Senators defeated the Penguins 3-2 in a shootout. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

When he wound up to shoot the puck, Daniel Alfredsson wasn’t even thinking about his 400th goal. All he thought about was the fact the Senators had a chance to win the game, most improbably, after falling behind 3-0 after the first period.
But when the puck went past Calgary Flames rookie Leland Irving at 3:31 of overtime, and Alfredsson looked to see Erik Karlsson heading toward him and leaping in the air, he remembered that, yes, the goal was indeed his 400th.
With his parents and a capacity crowd of 20,500 watching, the goal, a big one in a career of big goals, ended up being one of his more dramatic — and one of his more timely, giving the Senators a 4-3 win over the Flames.
“I always said I’d love to do it at home,” Alfredsson said, just before posing with the souvenir puck.
“But it was going to happen when it happened. (Friday night), you’re so caught up in the game, you just want to win the game, and I didn’t really think ‘If I score now, it’s going to be No. 400.’
“I was just trying to find a lane and if I did I was going to shoot it. And I saw it go in and I saw Erik jumping toward me and then I kind of realized it was 400, as well, and with my family and a lot of friends here, it makes it more special.”
Karlsson, who earned an assist on the goal, had scored a dazzling one of his own at 4:28 of the third to tie the game at 3-3, but he seemed more thrilled to have been a part of Alfredsson’s bit of history.
“Obviously I wanted him to score bad,” said Karlsson.
“I wanted him to get his goal, and I think he wanted it, too, to be able to get it and move forward and kind of let it go.
“He had a couple of good shots and probably could have scored four times on that power play, and I’m obviously really happy that he did it at home and in a game like this, that was so important for our team.
“It shows that he’s the leader of this team still, and he’s a great hockey player.”
It didn’t look as if the Senators were on their way to victory after the first period.
Alex Auld started the game but was pulled for Craig Anderson after allowing three goals on 15 shots in the first period.
Rene Bourque, Curtis Glencross, Chris Butler scored to give the Flames a 3-0 lead.
But the Senators chipped away starting in the second period and got goals from
Nick Foligno, Zack Smith, and eventually Karlsson in the third to tie the game and send it to overtime.
Anderson ended up facing 17 shots over two periods, while Irving, making just his third NHL start, faced 49.

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GAME FILE

WHY THEY WON: Because they found their legs after a poor first period and got lucky in overtime when Rene Bourque was sent off for interfering with Erik Karlsson. That gave the Senators the opening they needed to score the winner.

STUD: Erik Karlsson. He scored a dazzling goal to tie the game at 3-3 in the third, getting his own rebound and circling the net before putting it in on the other side. One of the best goals of the year so far.

DUD: Alex Auld. The three goals he allowed on 15 shots were not entirely his fault. There was some bad luck involved. But not enough to convince coach Paul MacLean that Auld should be allowed to stay in and finish the job, so he was out after one.

PENALTY-MINUTE RACE: With the two minutes he picked up for tripping, Zenon Konopka moved within two minutes of the league’s penalty-minute lead. The dubious honour is presently held by Philadelphia’s Zac Rinaldo, who has 110 minutes to Konopka’s 108. The two players have more than a 20-minute lead on Colorado’s Cody McLeod, who is third at 84 minutes.

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