OTTAWA (AP) -Daniel Alfredsson drove the Ottawa Senators' fans wild in the final seconds of the first period, then went a little crazy himself at the end of the second.
Alfredsson opened the scoring for the Senators in their 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks that dropped them into a 3-1 hole in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup finals. He scored his 12th goal of the playoffs with 0.3 seconds left in the opening period.
With the score tied at 2 after Ottawa's Dany Heatley scored with 2:00 left in the second period, Alfredsson was carrying the puck out of his zone when he wound up for an apparent last-ditch shot on Anaheim's net from his side of center ice.
The Ottawa captain changed his mind and drove a slap shot toward the right corner which struck Anaheim's Scott Niedermayer as he stood in front of the blue line.
"I looked up at the clock and saw five or six seconds left, so I wanted to shoot the puck at the net," Alfredsson said. "I braced my stick and the puck kind of stopped sliding. Then it got caught up in my feet, so I just wanted to get rid of it. I didn't mean to hit him."
Alfredsson's intent to hit the All-Star defenseman appeared deliberate to some and players from both teams jostled in front of Anaheim's bench after time had expired, with Niedermayer trying to get at Alfredsson.
"You can probably figure out what I thought about how I acted after it happened but it doesn't do us any good to talk about it, really," Niedermayer said. "I wasn't happy, yeah, there's no need to get hit with the puck at that point. I'm not going to say any more than that."
Roughing minors to Ottawa's Mike Fisher and Anaheim's Samuel Pahlsson were the only penalties resulting from the skirmish.
"I couldn't believe what I saw," Ducks veteran Teemu Selanne said. "I really hope that he didn't mean to hurt him because I know Alfie pretty well. I was shocked it happened. You knew he had a couple of seconds left and a whole ice available, and to try to shoot at Scotty, that's dangerous."
Ottawa coach Bryan Murray separated Alfredsson from Jason Spezza and Heatley to break up the Senators' top line, which has been outplayed by Anaheim's checking line of Pahlsson, Travis Moen and Rob Niedermayer.
"I know their defensive play against them is real responsible," Murray said. "And at times, the battle level down low, that line's not made that way, really. It's supposedly a playmaking, more of a finesse line."
Alfredsson salvaged a great first-period effort by Ottawa when he beat Jean-Sebastien Giguere at 19:59 on the Senators' third power play.
"We didn't play a very good second period which got us in a bit of a hole," Alfredsson said. "We took some penalties and basically lost all momentum. I thought when Heatley scored we were going to get back in the third period, but one mistake in the third and they win the game."
Senators center Dean McAmmond was unable to play because of what team officials labeled a concussion resulting from an elbow by Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger, who was suspended for Game 4.
Right wing Patrick Eaves returned to the lineup and shifted over to take McAmmond's place.
"It took me a couple of shifts to get adjusted to center," said Eaves, a healthy scratch for the previous two games. "We missed (McAmmond) tonight. I took his spot and I tried my best to fill in for him."