Ottawa Senators right wing Chris Neil (25) pressures Detroit Red Wings goalie Jonas Gustavsson for control of the puck during first period NHL action Sunday Dec. 1, 2013, in Ottawa, Ont. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Adrian Wylde)
OTTAWA, Ontario — Daniel Alfredsson scored an empty-net goal and added an assist in his return to Ottawa, and the Detroit Red Wings beat the host Senators 4-2 on Sunday night.
Alfredsson, the former longtime captain of the Senators, wasn’t primarily responsible for Ottawa’s second straight loss and fourth consecutive at home, but he helped contribute to the continuation of his ex-team’s woes.
Like so many times in their previous 27 games in the post-Alfredsson era, something was missing for the Senators (10-13-4). Defensive breakdowns led to goals, and there wasn’t enough offense to compensate.
Drew Miller scored twice, Johan Franzen added a goal, and Jonas Gustavsson made 29 saves for Detroit.
Clarke MacArthur and Mika Zibanejad had goals for Ottawa.
The Senators were 0-for-4 on the power play, and the Red Wings seemed to capitalize on every mistake.
MacArthur scored his eighth goal of the season, and Zibanejad made things interesting late, but it wasn’t enough for the Senators to improve to 3-0 against the Red Wings. Ottawa won the first two meetings in Detroit.
Gustavsson, who like Alfredsson is a native of Gothenburg, Sweden, earned the victory, and countryman Robin Lehner took the loss.
The pregame fanfare was all about Alfredsson, who spent 17 seasons with the Senators, including the final 14 as captain. A lackluster first period followed a 67-second video tribute to Alfredsson, but the 40-year-old right-winger was involved in the scoring when it began in the second.
Alfredsson gave the puck to defenseman Jakub Kindl as the Red Wings caught the Senators on an odd-man rush. With only defenseman Erik Karlsson back, Franzen fired a shot that beat Lehner at 8:22.
It was Franzen’s seventh goal of the season and Alfredsson’s 14th assist.
Miller made it 2-0 Red Wings at 11:13, taking a pass from Tomas Tatar and sending a one-timer past a sliding Lehner.
The Senators answered just over three minutes later during a flurry around Gustavsson. Milan Michalek followed his shot to the net and knocked the puck loose. It went right to MacArthur, who broke up the shutout bid at 14:14.
Miller was the beneficiary of some messy play by the Senators on his second goal of the game. Detroit defenseman Brendan Smith stick-handled and pulled the defense to him, leaving Miller wide open to put the puck into an empty net.
Zibanejad scored with 1:21 left in the game to make it 3-2, but Alfredsson sealed the Red Wings’ win with an empty-netter, his seventh goal of the season.
The Red Wings, who won their fourth straight, haven’t lost since the Senators beat them on Nov. 23.
NOTES: Senators D Marc Methot was a late scratch for the Senators because of the flu. Ottawa coach Paul MacLean had said before the game that Jared Cowen would be a healthy scratch for a second straight game, but he replaced Methot in the lineup instead.