Detroit — Maybe Daniel Alfredsson’s homecoming in Ottawa will turn out better.
Facing the Senators, his former team of 17 seasons for the first time Wednesday, certainly didn’t go as planned at all.
The Senators defeated the Red Wings, 6-1, ending any suspense early.
Ottawa chased goalie Jimmy Howard in the first period, scoring three goals on eight shots, and the rout was on, stretching the Red Wings winless streak to three games (0-2-1) in which they’ve scored a total of three goals.
“They came out prepared and skated us into the ground,” coach Mike Babcock said. “We didn’t play at all. We couldn’t keep it out of our net and didn’t skate good, turned pucks over, and in the end we didn’t look like a very good team.”
Canadian media descended on this game, with all the hype of Alfredsson facing the team he captained for so many years.
But Alfredsson had only two shots on net in 16 minutes, 12 seconds, credited with two hits and one giveaway, as his former team dominated.
“It didn’t feel too crazy,” said Alfredsson. “It’s disappointing for us as a team to lose the way we did at home. I would have loved to win, no question, but we played a good game against San Jose and took a step back (against Ottawa), and now we have to get back and move in the right direction.”
Said forward Henrik Zetterberg: “Obviously we wanted to have a good game, win a game (for Alfredsson). It didn’t happen.”
Todd Bertuzzi (power play) scored for the Red Wings (6-4-1, 13 points).
Jason Spezza and Bobby Ryan both scored twice — each had one on the power play — for the Senators (4-3-2, 10 points), with Eric Gryba and Jared Cowen adding the other goals.
Gryba opened the scoring at 5:46 with his first goal of the season.
Gryba started the play by knocking Joakim Andersson off the puck. Ottawa’s Mika Zibanejad gathered the puck near the side of the net, and found Gryba pinching into the circle. Gryba’s shot from near the hashmarks beat Howard over his right shoulder.
Ottawa pushed the lead to 2-0 on Spezza’s power-play goal.
With Jakub Kindl off for hooking, the puck got to Spezza in the left circle. Spezza showed patience with the puck, then unleashed a shot through a screen in front of Howard at 10:18.
A little over three minutes later, Howard’s night was over.
With Ottawa again on the power play — Kyle Quincey off for tripping — Ryan’s fifth goal from the top of the circle appeared to deflect off a stick and flew past Howard at 14:14.
Going to goalie Jonas Gustavsson (17 saves) sparked the Red Wings briefly.
The Red Wings earned a power play quickly after, and Bertuzzi cut the lead to 3-1 with his third goal.
With Senators goalie Craig Anderson (31 saves) expecting the play to go the other way, Bertuzzi wrapped the puck around and through an unsuspecting Anderson at 16:14. But he wouldn’t let them get any closer.
Bertuzzi’s goal sparked the Red Wings, but Anderson (31 saves) wouldn’t let the Wings get any closer on the scoreboard.
“We were getting some chances but the bottom line is they regrouped and kept coming, and we didn’t,” Babcock said.
The Red Wings also had a power play to start the second peroid when Ryan was called for high-sticking, but the advantage went fruitless.
Ottawa extended the lead to 4-1 with Spezza’s second goal.
Spezza fired a shot off the end board, then hustled to smack the rebound past Gustavsson before the Red Wings reacted, Spezza’s seventh goal at 5:12 of the second period.
“After that we couldn’t generate the pressure we’d like to get back into the game,” Alfredsson said.