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Alfredsson returns to Ottawa with surging Red Wings

by Staff

RED WINGS (13-7-7) AT SENATORS (10-12-4)


Last 10: Detroit 4-2-4; Senators 4-6-0

Season series: This is the third of four games between the Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators; the Senators won twice in Detroit by a combined score of 10-3. Bobby Ryan had three goals and an assist in those games.

Big story: After 17 seasons with the Senators, Daniel Alfredsson returns to Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa for the first time since signing a one-year $5.5 million contract with the Red Wings during the offseason.

"It's going to be great to meet a lot of friends. That's what you miss the most. The game on Sunday will be very special," Alfredsson told the Detroit Free Press after a 5-0 win Friday against the New York Islanders.

Team Scope:

Detroit: The Red Wings are 5-1-1 in their past seven road games and 8-3-1 after Alfredsson and Darren Helm each scored twice in the win Friday. Since a seven-game winless streak, Detroit is 4-1-0, including 14 goals in its past three games.

"I think we're finding ways to put the puck in the net. I don't know if we are doing things a whole lot different from what we were doing when we kept on losing those games in OT and shootout, just the confidence of the puck going in is with us right now," Helm said.

Senators: Ottawa had a 1-0 lead before the Vancouver Canucks scored four second-period goals in less than nine minutes en route to a 5-2 win. It was the Senators' third straight loss at home, and they have not won consecutive games in three weeks.

"We need to string together a couple of wins. … Another big game on Sunday with Detroit coming to town," Senators captain Jason Spezza said after the loss Thursday.

The Senators have 24 points, nine behind the Red Wings in the Atlantic Division.

"We are chasing Detroit and obviously it's going to a big game with [Alfredsson] coming back into town. We've beaten them twice now, so I'm sure they're going to want to have a good game," Spezza said.

Who's hot: Helm has five goals in five games for the Red Wings. Defenseman Niklas Kronwall has a five-game scoring streak (two goals, five assists), and Alfredsson has three goals and two assists in his past three games. ... Ryan has three goals in four games for the Senators.

Injury report: Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser (shoulder) is on injured reserve. Forwards Todd Bertuzzi (shoulder) and Pavel Datsyuk (head) missed the game Friday. ... The Senators enter the game with a healthy lineup.

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