Alfredsson Gives Senators Shootout Win Over Wild
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OTTAWA (AP) — Paul MacLean celebrated his first win as an NHL head coach by making it clear he views the Ottawa Senators’ history as a clean slate.
Daniel Alfredsson scored Ottawa’s third straight shootout goal and the Senators rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night in the home opener of their 20th season.
Milan Michalek and Jason Spezza also scored in the tiebreaker against Niklas Backstrom, who made 41 saves for Minnesota.
MacLean, an assistant coach the past four seasons with Detroit, was unaware that Ottawa was 18-34 overall in the shootout before this season, including 2-5 last season under former coach Cory Clouston.
“I don’t know. We’re 1 and 0,” MacLean said. “We scored three goals in the shootout and I think the history’s good.”
Craig Anderson stopped 23 shots and denied Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu’s backhand in the shootout before Matt Cullen scored on the Wild’s second attempt.
“At least we got one point, and in the end it could be a big difference,” Backstrom said.
Colin Greening drew Ottawa even at 3 with a power-play goal 8:22 into the third period, moments after Ottawa buzzed the net on a 4-on-3 advantage.
Kyle Brodziak and Devin Setoguchi gave Minnesota a 2-0 lead in the first period, and Nick Johnson restored the Wild’s two-goal margin 1:56 into the third.
Nick Foligno netted Ottawa’s first goal in the second period before Chris Neil drew the Senators within one for the second time.
Michalek came out of the penalty box to set up Greening’s tying goal after he was sent off with Minnesota’s Cal Clutterbuck for roughing at 6:13 in the wake of Neil’s goal, which drew the Senators within 3-2.
“We kept with it. We had some character nights by some guys,” Foligno said. “Chris Neil played outstanding for us, and big goals in the shootout by Alfie, Spez and Milo. Anderson played outstanding. It was a big team effort and we’re proud of it.”
Brodziak scored his first goal of the season 8:41 in when he deflected Clayton Stoner’s shot from the left boards past Anderson.
Setoguchi scored a power-play goal to make it 2-0 with 48.7 seconds remaining in the first. Koivu fed a pass to the slot, and Setoguchi picked the top right corner with a wrist shot for his second goal in three games.
Former Senators 50-goal scorer Dany Heatley, who was booed constantly, got the secondary assist on Setoguchi’s goal in his return to Ottawa.
Foligno scored his first goal 8:17 into the second to draw Ottawa within 2-1.
Johnson gave Minnesota a 3-1 lead with an unassisted goal 1:56 into the third that required a video review to confirm that the puck had crossed the goal line.
Neil made it a one-goal game again at 6:13. Referee Don Van Massenhoven initially signaled no-goal but his call was overturned as replays clearly showed the puck went into the net.
Laurie Boschman, the modern Senators’ first captain, dropped the puck for the ceremonial faceoff during a pregame ceremony honoring Ottawa’s 1992-93 inaugural team.
NOTES: Seven players who competed in the 2011 AHL Calder Cup finals played in the game. Wild defensemen Marco Scandella and Jared Spurgeon, and center Colton Gillies played in the six-game series for Houston, Minnesota’s minor league affiliate, which lost 4-2 to the Binghamton Senators. Ottawa defenseman Jared Cowen, centers Colin Greening and Zack Smith, and right wing Erik Condra played in the series for Binghamton. … Wild C Pierre-Marc Bouchard finished serving his two-game suspension for cross-checking Columbus’ Matt Calvert in the face on Saturday. He is eligible to return Thursday against Edmonton. … Senators center Zenon Konopka got an instigating penalty for his fight with Matt Kassian moments after Brodziak’s goal. … Boschman, Brad Marsh, Jody Hull and Mike Peluso were among the 14 members of the 1992-93 Senators — who went 10-70-4 — in attendance. … The original Senators (1917-1934) were charter members of the NHL and won four Stanley Cup titles during the 1920s.
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