Daniel Alfredsson returns to Canada’s capital city for the first time as an opponent when his Detroit Red Wings visit the Ottawa Senators on Sunday. Alfredsson played his first 17 seasons with the Senators, most as the captain, before signing with the Red Wings as a free agent last summer. The right wing comes in following a three-point effort Friday against the New York Islanders as Detroit won its third straight.
Ottawa defenseman Chris Phillips, who played 15 seasons with Alfredsson, believes the fans will welcome him back.
“I expect a standing ovation, I think the people will be on their feet,” Phillips told the Ottawa Citizen. “I think he should be applauded and commended for everything he’s done for the team during his time here.”
The Senators hope to draw on the emotion in the building to beat the Red Wings for the third time this season.
TV: 5:30 p.m. ET, RDS, TSN, NHLN, FSN Plus (Detroit)
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (13-7-7): Detroit has recently played some of its most efficient hockey of the season, outscoring its last three opponents 12-4, as center Pavel Datsyuk sat out with a concussion he sustained against the Senators on Nov. 23. Datsyuk is not likely to play Sunday, although he is improving, while right wing Todd Bertuzzi could return from an upper-body injury. Captain Henrik Zetterberg is off to one of the best starts of his career, with 11 goals and a team-best 30 points – including seven in the last five games.
ABOUT THE SENATORS (10-12-4): Ottawa played two of its best games this season at Detroit, recording 6-1 and 4-2 victories, but has struggled through an up-and-down first two months and is 2-5-0 in its last seven contests. The Senators finished the 2012-13 campaign second in the league in goals-against (2.08) and have fallen to 27th (3.19) through almost one-third of this season. Defenseman Erik Karlsson leads a balanced offense with 26 points while Alfredsson’s replacement, Bobby Ryan, has a team-high 13 goals.
1. Alfredsson, who played his 1,200th career game Friday, had 426 goals and 1,108 points in 1,178 games with Ottawa.
2. Ottawa has allowed 13 power-play goals in the last nine games. Detroit is 10-for-33 with the man advantage during the same span.
3. Detroit G Jimmy Howard snapped a seven-game winless streak (0-3-4) with a 5-0 victory over the Islanders on Friday.