Alfie rescues Senators

DON BRENNAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:29 AM ET

On a night that began with a rousing tribute to former Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman, it was the greatest player in Senators history who drew the loudest roar.

Daniel Alfredsson's second goal of the game, a power-play effort with just 2:56 to play in regulation, proved to be the winner in a 3-2 victory over Detroit at Scotiabank Place.

The mid-season Stanley Cup captured by the Senators last night did have a dent, however.

SHOULDER INJURY

All-star winger Dany Heatley suffered an apparent shoulder injury when he crashed into the end boards while laying a lick on Dallas Drake in the third minute of the third period.

Heatley, who has played in all 207 games since the Senators acquired in a 2005 trade with the Thrashers, did not return.

A crowd of 20,208 was on hand for the much-anticipated square-off between the first-place team in the Eastern Conference and the top squad in the West.

They did not leave disappointed in the entertainment value.

Goals by Alfredsson and Mike Fisher had the Senators ahead 2-0 lead until Brian Rafalski broke Ray Emery's shutout bid at the 7:46 mark of the third. Jiri Hudler tied it up with a rebound off the end boards 4:20 later.

Emery stopped 27 shots in his second 3-2 win over the Red Wings in 13 months.

Dominik Hasek made 29 saves in his first game back to Scotiabank Place as a visitor. His biggest was in typical Dominator fashion -- a sprawling, blocker stop off Fisher, who was in alone, with six and a half minutes left.

Hasek also received some help from his "friends" when Heatley hit the post in the first period and Andrej Meszaros nailed one in the third.

The Senators return to the regular grind immediately, as they host the Islanders tonight.

The night began with a standing ovation for Yzerman, who dropped the puck in the ceremonial opening faceoff a night after being inducted into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame.

Senators coach John Paddock tried to set an early tone by starting a rock 'em, sock 'em forward line of Christoph Schubert, Mike Fisher and Chris Neil. The rest of the Senators picked up on the message. The first period saw attention-grabbing hits by Anton Volchenkov (Rafalski plastered into the end boards), Andrej Meszaros (classic hip check on Pavel Datsyuk) and a pair by Chris Kelly (Valtteri Filppula, Andreas Lilja) on the same shift.

POWER PLAY CLICKS

The Senators took a 1-0 lead into the second period thanks primarily to the play of their special teams.

After an oh-fer (six) performance vs. Buffalo Thursday, the power play clicked on its first chance, with the first shot of the game, when Alfredsson beat Hasek with a point shot that sneaked through a crowd in front that included Fisher. It was the first power play the Red Wings had allowed in 10 games.


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