Alfie needs to take best shot

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:33 PM ET

MONTREAL — Nearing his 38th birthday, Daniel Alfredsson has reached a low point in his career.

He still leads the Senators in scoring, but he hasn’t picked up a goal or assist in his past seven games. The drought equals his longest since 1995, when he also once went seven games without a point.

“For a while I felt discouraged, because I wasn’t creating enough chances,” Alfredsson said after Monday’s practice at Bell Centre. “Lately, especially the last two games, I’ve been in better positions, and been able to get much better looks. I haven’t shot the puck as well as I’d like. But I feel it’s coming back ... I’ve got a good feeling about it, putting myself in position to score and make things happen. That’s what I was looking for more than just the points. the points will come if I do that.”

Playing Montreal would figure to be just what the doctor ordered for Alfredsson, who has 101 points in 78 career games against the Habs. But he says it doesn’t matter who the next opponent is, the cure for what ails him is more shots.

“My shots per game hasn’t been good,” he said. “I think I went three, four games where I had two or three shots total. That’s something I’ve got to get up there, if I want to get production.”

Misery has some serious company in this case, as Jason Spezza and Sergei Gonchar have also gone seven games without a point. Then, the only Senators to score in the past four games have been Chris Kelly and Nick Foligno.

Alfredsson’s slump likely has nothing to do with his age. He had plenty of jump Sunday and was the team’s shots leader (with five), as the Senators played their second game in less than 24 hours.

They have a couple of more back-to-backers to end the week, before Alfredsson can celebrate his date of birth Saturday with a day off.

“In New York, I was walking quite a bit downtown in the afternoon, and I seemed to gobble up a lot of energy that the city brings,” he said. “I felt good (in the Rangers game).”

Alfredsson said he may go for a walk in downtown Montreal Tuesday, but he won’t need one to get pumped up.

“The rink here brings more energy more than any other in the league,” he said.

This and that

When Chris Kelly doubled his season output with a three-goal game against the Rangers, he became the third Senator in franchise history to record a hat trick while netting all the Senators’ goals in a victory. The others were Bob Kudelski (Jan. 10, 1993) and Spezza (Dec. 6, 2008) ... Somehow, the three-star selectors at MSG didn’t pick Kelly first, going with Pascal Leclaire, for his 25 saves in the 3-1 victory. “Stars aren’t important to me,” said Kelly. “I wasn’t disappointed at all. Pazzy played a great game. Good thing we practise 3-on-1s in practice.” ... For Kelly, it was not only the first hat trick in his 433-game career, but also just his second multi-goal game. His teammates were giving him the gears about not scoring four (he hit the crossbar in the first), while his coach commended him on other aspects of his game. “When he scores goals, we need to win those games,” said Clouston. “Equally as important was his defensive game. He did a great job on the penalty kill. We focus so much on the power play, but your9 penalty kill has to win you games as well.” The Senators survived two back-to-back penalties early in the third and have now gone two games without giving up a power-play goal.

don.brennan@sunmedia.ca


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