DETROIT – Ottawa’s newest captain made it a night the Senators’ former captain would soon like to forget.
And in the end it got down-right embarrassing.
Jason Spezza and Bobby Ryan scored two goals apiece to lead the Senators over Daniel Alfredsson and his new team, the Detroit Red Wings, 6-1, Wednesday night at Joe Louis Arena.
Spezza was named Ottawa’s captain this season, replacing Alfredsson when he bolted for Detroit after spending his entire 17-year career with the Senators. He had been the league’s longest serving captain until the move.
“It’s a game,” Alfredsson said. “It’s disappointing for us to lose the way we did at home. I would have loved to win this one no question, but we played a good game against San Jose and now we took a step back. We have to get back with a good effort on Saturday and move it in the right direction.”
Ryan was acquired by Ottawa for two players and a first-round draft pick the same day Alfredsson agreed on a deal with the Wings.
“We were no good here today,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “It’s not like I saw it coming, it’s not like I think our play’s been falling off or anything. I didn’t see it coming. I was surprised to say the least. (I’m) disappointed for Alfie that we couldn’t have done a better job here.
“We have an off day tomorrow so I’m just talking about whether we should have an off day or not,” Babcock continued. “It’s one of those things that I don’t think you forget this very easily and you shouldn’t forget it either. That’s embarrassing to play like we did.”
Eric Gryba and Jared Cowen also scored, while goalie Craig Anderson made 31 saves for the Senators.
Todd Bertuzzi had the Wings’ lone goal.
“Tonight was too much watching the other team play, starting with myself,” said Niklas Kronwall, who returned after missing the last two games with a mild concussion. “I know I have to be better and I think a lot of guys in here feel the same way. I didn’t think that we didn’t work hard enough, we just didn’t work smart enough. You’re skating too much when you shouldn’t be skating, so to speak. You got to be a lot smarter and a lot harder to play against. We were a step behind tonight.”
Ottawa took control early with three goals on its first eight shots to chase starter Jimmy Howard from between the pipes. The Senators put three more Jonas Gustavsson, who finished with 17 saves.
“Obviously we wanted to win the game,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “We wanted to have a good game. We’re not happy. You’ve just got to forget and move on.”
Ottawa built a 3-0 lead just fourteen minutes and 14 seconds into the game.
Mika Zibanejad took advantage of a puck hopping over Danny DeKeyser’s stick behind the net. He then hold off the defenseman and drew the rest of the Wings towards him before sending a pass to Gryba for the wrist shot to beat Howard cleanly to open the scoring.
Five minutes later, Ottawa doubled its lead with a power play goal from Spezza. With all day to shoot in the faceoff dot to the right of Howard, Spezza sent a blast in that Howard had no chance on after he deflected off the inside of the leg of Brian Lashoff.
Ryan put an end to Howard’s night with the Senators’ second power play goal, this time from just outside the faceoff dot to the left of the Wings netminder. Ryan snapped a wrist shot just inside the post.
Bertuzzi ended a Wings’ goalless drought of 133:12 with a power play tally. Kronwall sent a shot in off the boards that Henrik Zetterberg picked up and one touched it to Bertuzzi, who snuck back out in front to jam it past an unsuspecting Anderson.
Spezza was a one-man show in netting his second goal, firing a shot off the end boards and then beat three Wings to it to beat Gustavsson for the lone tally of the second period.
“It was a different game, the way it turned out,” Alfredsson said. “It didn’t feel too crazy. The warm-up was what it was and once the game got going you’re really into it. The game didn’t turn into a good battle which is what I expected.”