Detroit Red Wings: Daniel Alfredsson puts out the Flames

Age is nothing more than a number. Daniel Alfredsson had his best game of the season at the perfect time.

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Alfredsson saluting the crowd after his 700th career assist. (Photo Credit: Dave Reginek / Getty Images)

The Detroit Red Wings (16-12-9) were on the verge of going into another shootout (0 for 6 in shootouts this season) before Alfredsson unleashed one of his signature one-timers for a power play goal 1:03 into overtime. It was his second goal of the game and his third point.

The Red Wings finally snapped their overtime curse, the 6-game losing streak, and the unfavorable home ice tilt by defeating the Calgary Flames 3-2 on Thursday night.

Alfredsson also picked up his 700th career assist during the 2nd period.

With almost half of the team out with injuries, including the captain Henrik Zetterberg, the Red Wings needed someone to step up in order to stay competitive. It looks like Alfredsson might be that guy.

The wily veteran certainly has the experience, but does he still have the skills to match? After last night’s game the answer is an overwhelming yes.

Alfredsson has been outstanding this season: 9 goals and 18 assists for 27 points. By those categories, Alfie is the 3rd best player on the team behind Zetterberg and Datsyuk. That is unheard of for a 41 year old in the NHL these days. And surely more than what the Red Wings were hoping for when they brought him to Detroit. His right handed shot has been a key weapon for the team all season, especially on the power play. Just like he showcased last night.

If Detroit wants to avoid slipping out of a playoff spot heading into the New Year then Daniel Alfredsson has to continue being a force in the offense. He has the knowledge and ability to put the team on his back and carry them until Henrik Zetterberg, Darren Helm, Gustav Nyquist, and the rest of the gang is healthy once again.

Shootouts and injuries have been the Red Wings Achilles’ heel. Someone has to pick up those pieces and lead the way. Daniel Alfredsson can (and needs to) fill that role, just like he did against the Flames. Otherwise it’s going to be a long, cold winter in Hockeytown.

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