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Alfie expecting 'emotional night'

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Daniel Alfredsson warms up prior to his 1,000th career NHL game against the Panthers in Sunrise, Fla., on Tuesday night. The Senators will pay tribute to their captain's achievement before their game against the Sabres on Saturday night at Scotiabank Place (Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images).

For the most part, he's a guy who rarely displays an excess of emotion.

But Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson admits he doesn't know what to expect on Saturday night, when a ceremony before Ottawa's matchup with the Buffalo Sabres at Scotiabank Place (7 p.m., CBC, Team 1200) will pay tribute to the 1,000-game milestone he reached earlier this week.

"I think it will be emotional," Alfredsson admitted after witnessing a rehearsal for the 11-minute ceremony earlier this afternoon. "I don't know if I'll cry ... if I do, I do. I have no problem with that. But everything is positive.

"It's just unbelievable that a lot of people care about what you do that much. It's almost awkward."

The Alfredsson tribute night is the hottest ticket in town, with not a single one to be had for what should be a most memorable evening to close out the Senators' regular season.

For those who don't make their way into the building, CBC's Hockey Night in Canada will televise the entire pre-game ceremony prior to its regional game broadcast.

Alfredsson's parents, Hasse and Margareta, arrived in the capital today from Sweden, along with his sister, Cecilia. Younger brother Henric, an Ottawa resident, and some friends from back home will also be on hand for tomorrow's special night. Of course, his wife Bibbi and sons Hugo, Loui and Fenix are also going to be front and centre in the proceedings.

"It's going to be great," said Alfredsson. "It feels a little bit overwhelming, to be honest, right now. All the attention I've been getting and the accolades as well ... it's very humbling. For tomorrow, I’m just going to try to have fun with it, enjoy it and try to embrace it all.

"It feels a little bit overwhelming, to be honest, right now. All the attention I've been getting and the accolades as well ... it's very humbling. For tomorrow, I’m just going to try to have fun with it, enjoy it and try to embrace it all. I'm pretty sure it will be a night I'll never forget." - Daniel Alfredsson
"The good thing is, we’ve locked up our position in the standings, which will allow me and the whole team to enjoy the whole ceremony a little bit more than if it would have been a very important game. It’s good that way and I’m looking forward to it."

Whether it ranks as the best night of his hockey career ... Alfredsson said it's too soon to tell.

"That’s impossible to answer because it hasn’t happened," he said. "I can prepare myself emotionally about what could happen. I’m just going to see what happens and how it goes and how I handle it. But I’m pretty sure it will be a night I’ll never forget."

Around the boards

Senators forward Alex Kovalev, who suffered a left leg injury in Thursday night's 4-3 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, is expecting to have medical tests done later today. His status will be updated by the team on Saturday morning. "We're concerned about his status," admitted Alfredsson. "It's never good when you lose players before the playoffs, especially if it's for a longer time. If you want to have a long run, you're going to run into some injury problems throughout the playoffs and if you have less depth to start off with, it's not good. But you deal with what you have and you do the best with it."


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