Alfredsson lives up to All-star billing

- By Mike Brehm USA TODAY

OTTAWA — In an outpouring of support for the game’s hometown captain, Daniel Alfredsson received the most All-star votes.

He repaid the favor Sunday by scoring two goals and nearly a third.

Alfredsson and his fellow Ottawa Senators All-stars — Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek and Erik Karlsson — have helped the team to a betterthan-expected sixth-place record in the Eastern Conference.

“There’s been a lot of positives (this season),” said Alfredsson, 39. “I personally feel healthy on the ice, and then to have a weekend like this is surreal.”

Alfredsson scored in the second period when he split the defense and then was set up by the Sedins. He put in a lot of long shifts in the third period as players tried to get him a shot at MVP. He hit the post.

“You saw the respect the guys had passing the puck trying to get him the third goal,” Spezza said.

Alfredsson is the NHL’S longestser­ving captain, in his 13th season. He has played his entire career with the Senators, leading them to the 2007 Stanley Cup Final, and scored his 400th goal at home this season.

Internatio­nally, he played on the 2006 Swedish national team that won the Torino Olympics.

“He’s one of the guys that started people in Sweden starting to recognize the NHL,” said Karlsson, a fellow Swede.

Alfredsson, who grabbed all of the Senators players and Swedish players in Thursday’s fantasy draft, had a chance Sunday to play alongside Henrik and Daniel Sedin for the first time.

“We always joke when we play them that they have a language that’s almost alien . . . and you’ve just got to figure out the frequency,” Alfredsson said. “They are so good at anticipati­ng even before they get the puck . . . and I benefited from that.”

Alfredsson has to decide this summer whether to return for another season at $1 million or retire. He was asked on the ice after the game if he would return.

“I can give you 50% of that answer,” he said. “My wife will have to give you the other 50.”

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