Throwback Thursday: Alfredsson’s Overtime Winning Goal


At this time of year you might start to get down because the Senators are out and the playoffs only have a few weeks left. It is going to be a long summer, and it’s not nice thinking about that. That’s why for this weeks Throwback Thursday I wanted to lighten the mood and reminisce about the good ‘ole days. Let’s talk about Daniel Alfredsson‘s overtime winning goal against the Buffalo Sabres in 2007 to send Ottawa to their first ever Stanley Cup Finals.

Back Story

Coming into the 2006-07 season, Ottawa had lofty expectations. They had been ousted by the Sabres in the 2nd round in the previous year, despite winning the Eastern Conference. There’s a legitimate chance they could have won the cup if they had advanced to the Conference Finals and played the Carolina Hurricanes, and they definitely would have had a better fate with Dominik Hasek in net.

So it was unsettling to see them get out to a 7-11-1 start, and later in December have a 17-18-1 record. Despite that, there was too much talent on the team to be mediocre and they finished 48-25-9, good for 4th in the East (although they were ahead of division leading Atlanta in points).

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In the playoffs, they looked like a legitimate contender. In round one they easily took care of the up-and-coming Pittsburgh Penguins in five games, then they did the exact same thing to the New Jersey Devils.  The win against the Devils was quite impressive, as they were the #2 seed, and all of a sudden only the #1 ranked Sabres stood in their way towards a Stanley Cup Finals berth.

Ottawa had gotten out to a 1-0 series lead for the third straight series, but they went to overtime in game two for the second straight time. The Senators two previous series had seen them squander game two, but this time Joe Corvo was the hero for Ottawa, and they miraculously were up 2-0. The Senators would win another and have a 3-0 series lead, but Buffalo wasn’t going out quietly as they won game four.

Game Five

That set the stage for game five, which was nerve-racking. It was in Buffalo, so it was going to be tough. The last thing the Senators wanted was to lose this one and have to play in a stressful game six. After a scoreless first, Jochen Hecht gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead early in the second. However, two late period goals from Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza gave Ottawa a 2-1 lead heading into what they hoped to be the final period of the series.

It was a good shot, but surely one that Miller wants back

That would not be the last period, as Maxim Afinogenov tied the game midway through the period on a powerplay goal. That sent the game to overtime, and fans on both sides were no doubt extremely nervous.

Around halfway through overtime, our lord and saviour Daniel Alfredsson sent the Senators to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in their history. Heatley passed the puck to Alfredsson in the neutral zone, and he came in the middle of the ice on a 1 on 4. Despite that, he was somehow able to get a shot off and wire it past Ryan Miller‘s glove just above his pad.

It was a good shot, but surely one that Miller wants back. The funny thing is that three years later Sidney Crosby scored quite the famous goal on Miller that he should have saved as well. Here is the most famous goal in Senators history:

My Reaction

At the time of the series, I was still a kid. Of course I was a massive Ottawa fan at the time, but nevertheless I was young. I was extremely nervous for that game, especially in overtime. I never even saw the puck go in the net on Alfredsson’s shot, all I saw was Alfie put his arms up in the air as high as he could.

After seeing that I went ballistic as I jumped off the couch and was so elated to see them win. Everything seemed to be going right for the team, and I had so much faith in them.

I honestly thought they were going to win the Cup, and it hardly even entered my mind that there was a possibility they could lose. I guess I was too young and naive to understand that they were actually the underdogs, but at the time of the overtime goal I was on top of the world. Of course we all know what happened in the next two weeks, but we’ll always have the Cup run and the goal that sent them all the way.

At the time the Senators were one of the  teams to cheer for, and they were seen as a powerhouse

In Retrospect

Looking back, I have to say this is the biggest goal in franchise history. It’s bigger than the first ever goal Ottawa scored, and bigger than any other playoff overtime goal. This goal signified the farthest the team has ever gone, and it showed just how good that 2006-07 team was. At the time the Senators were one of the teams to cheer for, and they were seen as a powerhouse.

Back then I thought Ottawa would always go deep in the playoffs, and that they’d be back to the Finals the next year. Things have changed so much since then, as they haven’t even gotten close. However, that just shows how important and impressive their run was back in 2007.

The Alfredsson goal will forever be in the minds of Senators fans, and hopefully we’ll get to see something similar in the near future.

Next: With Hammond Signed, Is Lehner Truly Expendable?