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Alfredsson relives historic goal

Monday, 21.05.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
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Alfredsson relives historic goal
The goal scored by captain Daniel Alfredsson, above, in overtime of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final against the Buffalo Sabres pushed the Ottawa Senators' quest for the Stanley Cup to the final stage. Photo: T. Anderson/OSHC

by Todd Anderson

Two days after scoring the biggest goal in Ottawa Senators history captain Daniel Alfredsson was asked to relive the moment from the overtime game-winner in Game 5 against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday that sent his team to the Stanley Cup final.

"At first, it was just trying to survive 20 guys jumping you," Alfredsson says referring to the swarm of teammates who surrounded him during the post-goal celebration. "Once you start doing a couple of interviews you realize we're going there. It's a little bit of relief I guess. It's such a close game and in overtime anything can happen. It's nice we got the good bounce."

Alfredsson's linemates - Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley - were the first two players to congratulate the captain. Spezza expects even more heroics from his right-winger in the final.

"Alfie's our leader. It's great to see him get some credit now," Spezza says. "He's got a little more left in him and a little more magic going. Hopefully, it can bring us through the finals.

"It's a chance of a lifetime. That's what I've dreamed about since being a little kid. I've won the Stanley Cup 1,000 times in my head playing road hockey. To get a real chance, it's pretty exciting."

After setting several club records since being acquired by Ottawa two summers ago, Heatley is more excited about re-writing the history books as a team.

"It feels good. This was a goal for me when I got here. It means a lot especially with the way this year went. There were lots of ups and downs, and the guys battled hard. It's nice to see we have a chance to do it now."

For all of his 10 years in the NHL, Senators alternate captain Wade Redden has been a teammate of Alfredsson's. He's proud to see his friend lead the charge during the 2007 playoffs.

"Coming into the league and to be with him every year, I've learned a lot from him. Just to see him play and have the privilege to be with him for those years, he's a class guy, a great leader and player. Definitely, no one has earned it more than him. He's worked hard his whole life and career; he's paid his dues and he's having a great run here.

A crowd of more than 3,000 fans watching Game 5 at the Red Zone on Saturday cheered Alfredsson's name after the goal. They were shouting it again at the airport when the team arrived home from Buffalo later in the evening.

"It was overwhelming," Alfredsson says of the greeting at Esso Avitat at Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport. "I thought there would be a few hundred people, but it was quite the reception. That just shows the great support we have here and how passionate the fans are. You imagine what would happen if we won the whole thing and how crazy they would go."




1 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
3 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
4 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
5 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
6 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
7 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
8 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43


E. Karlsson 60 15 32 3 47
B. Ryan 56 15 30 8 45
K. Turris 60 15 28 -4 43
M. Hoffman 57 23 16 23 39
M. Stone 58 15 24 11 39
M. Zibanejad 58 15 18 2 33
C. MacArthur 53 13 13 -10 26
M. Michalek 55 11 14 -1 25
D. Legwand 58 8 14 -3 22
A. Chiasson 54 9 12 -8 21
C. Anderson 13 11 7 .927 2.37
R. Lehner 9 12 3 .905 3.02