OTTAWA, Ontario — Johan Franzen scored three goals and the Detroit Red Wings defeated the Ottawa Senators 6-1 tonight.
Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco and Tomas Tatar also scored, and Jonas Gustavsson stopped 37 shots for the Red Wings (28-20-12), who have a five-point lead over the Senators (26-23-11) for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Bobby Ryan scored the lone goal for the Senators, who were playing their first game since the Olympic break. Robin Lehner allowed six goals on 15 shots before Andrew Hammond made his NHL debut, stopping all nine shots he faced.
Things fell apart for the Senators in a nine-minute in the first period.
Ryan had a goal overturned after it was ruled that he kicked it in, and then the Senators’ leading goal scorer missed two great chances on the power play. The Red Wings later scored on consecutive shots.
Ottawa’s Cody Ceci gave the puck up deep in the Senators’ end as he made a no-look, behind-the-back pass that landed right on the stick of Sheahan, who ripped a shot past Lehner. Just 29 seconds later, Franzen scored his first after he was left all alone to give Detroit a 2-0 lead.
Franzen then made it 3-0 with a power-play goal as once again he was left alone, this time on the opposite side of the ice.
Detroit made it 4-0 on a delayed penalty call with two minutes remaining in the period. Niklas Kronwall, who finished with three assists, had a shot from just inside the blue-line deflected and ended up on Jurco’s stick, who roofed it over Lehner.
Franzen completed his hat trick early in the second period.
Ryan finally got the Senators on board at the four-minute mark of the second, but any celebration was short-lived as Detroit made it 6-1 as Tatar beat Lehner from in close. That marked the end of Lehner’s appearance, opening the door for Hammond to make his first-ever NHL appearance. Craig Anderson was unavailable due to the birth of his second child.
Despite the surprise appearance, Hammond held his own and made a number of tough saves.
NOTES: This was the fourth and final meeting between the teams as they split the season series. ... D Patrick Wiercioch, D Joe Corvo and LW Matt Kassian were healthy scratches for the Senators. RW Patrick Eaves, RW Todd Bertuzzi and RW Daniel Cleary were healthy scratches for the Red Wings. ... A number of Canadian Olympians were recognized before the game, including Detroit coach Mike Babcock and GM Ken Holland. Today’s game marked Daniel Alfredsson’s second appearance at Canadian Tire Centre since signing with the Red Wings last summer.