Senators notebook: Alfredsson shows leadership at key time

Appropriately enough, on the day after Daniel Alfredsson’s dramatics in Game 3 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, he was named a finalist for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award. Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks are also up for the honour.

Senators notebook: Alfredsson shows leadership at key time
Ottawa Senators Daniel Alfredsson (11) celebrates an overtime win against the Montreal Canadiens after game four of Stanley Cup playoff hockey action on Tuesday May 7, 2013 in Ottawa. Alfredsson, Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks are the three finalists for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award.The award is presented to the player "who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice during the regular season." THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

Appropriately enough, on the day after Daniel Alfredsson’s dramatics in Game 3 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, he was named a finalist for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award. Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks are also up for the honour.

Senators goaltender Craig Anderson said Alfredsson is fully deserving, saying when the captain speaks, he can “move mountains.”

Both coach Paul MacLean and centre Jason Spezza said Alfredsson’s leadership came shining through when he helped the team survive its run of injuries this season.

“He was a mainstay in the locker room and he has been for a long time,” said Spezza. “It creates a comfort level when there’s a guy like that around for the new guys coming in. If there’s a year for that to be recognized, it’s this year when the whole leadership group — Alfie, (Sergei Gonchar), (Chris Phillips), (Chris Neil) — they did a great job of holding things together and making guys feel welcome.”

THE PAGEAU LEGEND GROWS

When Jason Spezza returned to the lineup for Game 3, it meant somebody had to come out, but MacLean said there wasn’t chance it was going to be rookie centre Jean-Gabriel Pageau.

“Pageau has been one of our best players, and most consistent players, since he has been here and since the playoffs have started,” said MacLean. “So, I would be nuts if I was thinking of taking him out.”

Pageau was second in ice time among centres (18:46), behind Kyle Turris (31:02) and ahead of Spezza (18:40) and Mika Zibanejad (15:08).

MacLean also suggests the line of Colin Greening, Pageau and Erik Condra has probably been the Senators’ most consistent throughout the post-season. Greening scored the double overtime game-winner Sunday — his third consecutive game with a goal — while Pageau has four goals and two assists (including a hat trick in Game 3 against Montreal) and Condra has one goal and six assists in the playoffs.

MALKIN STREAK ENDS

Penguins centre Evgeni Malkin came up empty on the scoresheet in the Senators’ 2-1 double overtime win Sunday, the first time in nine playoff games that he hasn’t produced at least a point.

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