Alfie: Great Big C

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:37 AM ET

PITTSBURGH -- A jet-lagged and weary Daniel Alfredsson appeared to get his second wind in the second period last night.

And, as has been the case so many times before, the captain's burst pushed the Senators to victory.

A 4-3 win over the lowly Penguins in front of 14,026 fans at Mellon Arena did not come without a scare, however. Pittsburgh scored three times within 8:01during the third period before seeing the comeback fall short.

Alfredsson, who had flown from Italy to Stockholm to Ottawa to Pittsburgh in between winning an Olympic gold medal Sunday and last night's game against the Penguins, kicked his game into high gear with the Senators holding a 1-0 lead after a period.

First, he scored his 35th goal of the year. Then he did some dazzling work to help kill off a crucial 5-on-3 shorthanded situation. Then he set up Dany Heatley's 35th goal.

"I'm tired, but I told myself not to think about it ... think about it and you get even more tired," said Alfredsson. "I felt not bad, obviously not super, but I was pumped getting back, and I wanted us to get off to a good start, especially against a team we should beat. It was a good win for us.

"Those teams (like Pittsburgh and Washington) have nothing to lose. They're going to work extremely hard and if you want to win those games, you're going to have to be ready."

While Alfredsson's charge bumped the Senators in front by four, the Penguins would not go away. John LeClair spoiled Ray Emery's shutout bid 6:18 into the third, then former Senators Andre Roy (with his first of the year) and Jani Rita scored goals 33 seconds apart to turn it into a one-goal game with more than five minutes remaining.

Emery, making his first start as the Senators No. 1 goalie with Dominik Hasek injured, played well enough in stopping 27 shots.

"It was just good to get the win," said Emery. "It got kinda scary at the end, but the two points overshadows everything. Other than that funny goal (the second), I felt really solid."

"It would have been devastating to lose, but I don't think they got another scoring chance after their third goal," said Senators coach Bryan Murray.

Also scoring for the Senators was defenceman Brian Pothier, who counted his second of the season and first in 39 games, and Peter Schaefer, who picked up his 14th.

The victory improved Ottawa's record to 38-14-5 and got the Senators off to a positive start from the post-Olympic break.

The Senators will have a chance to extend their streak when they host the Capitals tonight at Scotiabank Place.


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