"We couldn't really establish anything off the entries, and that's why we couldn't really get set up," defenseman Erik Karlsson said. "We just had to chase the puck the whole time."
Ottawa's second straight loss and fourth consecutive at home, but he helped contribute to the continuation of his ex team's woes.
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.
Alfredsson recorded his 590th and 591st points in his 596th game in Ottawa. The empty net goal brought boos from the crowd of 20,011, but it generated plenty of relief for the Red Wings.
ALFREDSSON: Our favorite moments from Ottawa
Clarke MacArthur and Mika Zibanejad had goals for Ottawa.
Detroit Red Wings right wing Daniel Alfredsson plays his first game at the Canadian Tire Centre after his departure from the Ottawa Senators.(Photo: Marc DesRosiers, USA TODAY Sports)
The Senators were 0 for 4 on the power play, and Under Armour Shoes 2016 Low Cut
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.
Alfredsson, the former longtime captain of the Senators, wasn't primarily responsible for Under Armour Shoes For Running
Red Wings' Daniel Alfredsson scores in return to Ottawa
With all the Senators' flaws, MacLean refused to pin any blame on Robin Lehner, who made 19 saves on 22 shots.
"It's one of those nights where it's a good team and they capitalize."
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.
"It was important for our team. We had dropped the ball. The first time we played against them we played poorly," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "It was important to respond here today, for Alfie and for the guys. The guys care about him, they wanted him to have a big night here."
"At the end of the day we didn't do enough to win," MacLean said. "Is that playing harder? Is that work ethic? Is that being smarter? It's all of the above, I would say. But we can just categorize it I guess under one term is that we need to play harder."
They haven't won at home since Nov. 15.
Story HighlightsThe Red Wings beat the Senators, 4 2Former Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson had an empty net goal and an assistThe Red Wings won their fourth straightOTTAWA, Ontario (AP) Daniel Alfredsson got a firsthand look at how the Ottawa Senators are now struggling without him.
the Red Wings seemed to capitalize on every mistake.
"I think one thing goes wrong and then another thing goes wrong, and then we start to tighten up," MacArthur said. "I don't know if it's shutting our brains off for periods during the game, but we made a couple mental errors.
"It was nice kind of to seal the game there," Alfredsson said. "They were pushing, and I was thinking, 'Here come the Pesky Sens again.' But we were lucky to get a good bounce there."
BOX SCORE: Red Wings 4, Senators 2
The other difference was Ottawa's power less power play, that went 0 for 4 and recorded only four shots.
"They catch us on three line changes, and they get the odd man rush and they don't miss," Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said. "They're a team that if you Pink Under Armour Shoes give them those opportunities, they're going to take advantage of them. They took what we gave them and they made it the difference."
Drew Miller scored twice, Johan Franzen added a goal, and Jonas Gustavsson made 29 saves for Detroit.
"The result makes it a lot sweeter," said Alfredsson, who was named the third star. "You could tell our team was motivated and played hard. I thought we got better as the game went on. But if we would have lost, for me personally, I think it would still have been a night I'll always remember."
Senators were the "Pesky Sens" last year when they managed to find ways to win despite injuries to Karlsson, center Jason Spezza, goalie Craig Anderson and others. This season, they have struggled mightily.
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