Alfredsson at 1,000 and won

Senators forward Daniel Alfredsson holds the puck he used to score his third goal of the game - and...

Senators forward Daniel Alfredsson holds the puck he used to score his third goal of the game - and 1,000th point of his career- against the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena in Buffalo on October 22, 2010. (BILL WIPPERT/NHLI via Getty Images)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:30 PM ET

Daniel Alfredsson was all smiles. Mostly because of two points, not 1,000.

Hours after joining elite company by becoming only the 75th player in NHL history to reach the 1,000-point plateau with a hat trick against the Sabres in Buffalo, the Senators captain was the toast of the town, given a standing ovation and saluted by the faithful at Scotiabank Place as Ottawa hosted the Canadiens.

The 37-year-old will take more time to savour the moment at the end of his career. Friday’s performance was about helping the Senators get a desperately needed win and momentum after a dismal start to the season.

“I didn’t (think much about 1,000). There are a lot of other things that we’re dealing with that had more importance,” said Alfredsson, who did remember to keep the stick and puck he used to reach the milestone.

They’ll be mounted and put on display somewhere. Perhaps, someday, at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

Get it over with

No. 1,000, an empty-net goal, came on a backhander with 22 seconds left in the game.

Alfredsson had joked that he wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to get the historic point on the road — rather than wait to accomplish the feat before a home audience on Saturday.

“You know it’s there, especially when you get two points early in the game,” he said. “You know that there’s a chance.

“I don’t think I can put any words on it now to explain what it means. When you retire, you reflect on it and appreciate it even more. But it’s a nice number.”

While Alfredsson shies away from the spotlight, he does have a flare for the dramatic. It’s no coincidence he stepped up to lift the Senators out of last place in the NHL.

“When we needed him the most, he played his best,” said coach Cory Clouston.

“With Jason (Spezza) being out, we need (Alfredsson) and other guys to elevate their game. If he was going to score his 1,000th point, I’m sure the first thing he would have said was he was happier with the win.

“That was his whole focus. It was kind of the cherry on top to get the 1,000th point and the hat trick.”

What makes Alfredsson so special?

“It’s his effort,” said defenceman Chris Phillips. “He’s very skilled, but he gives it his all. He’s very, very competitive and when you mix that all together with a will to win, it has turned him into a great leader.”

Alfredsson said it was nice to get it done.

“It was a great relief just to see it go in to seal the win,” he said. “On top of that, be able to get that point. I couldn’t care less if it was into an empty net.

‘Everyone is happy’

“You just enjoy the whole thing. You don’t feel super happy. It’s fun to share it with your teammates. When you win a game like that, everybody is happy. It was a fun flight home.”

So, what’s his next points goal?

“2,000,” joked Alfredsson, who doesn’t measure his performance by the scoresheet.

“I don’t have any goals individually. I don’t want to reach this or that. I just want to play and if you play as good as you can, it all adds up in the end.

“To be able to play this long and to be able to play against the best in the world day after day is fun.”

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca


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