In his first two seasons with the Senators, Milan Michalek was never picked to participate in a shootout.

That changed Tuesday, when Paul MacLean tapped No. 9 on the back as his first choice to settle the score against Minnesota.

Of all the players he inherited when taking over the coaching job, MacLean knew Michalek best from when they worked mostly in the Western Conference as a Red Wings assistant and Sharks winger.

"He's always been a good player when I've seen him," MacLean said of his decision to pick Michalek. "I believe in the shootout, you put your best players out there."

Michalek did not disappoint. The Senators have had a lot of problems with shootouts in the past, but he set them in the right direction in 2011-12 by beating Niklas Backstrom with a smooth deke.

Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson followed suit by scoring on the Wild goalie.

"I thought Milan showed great leadership," MacLean said. "I don't know if that's his bread and butter move, but it was a good one."

That's what Michalek is — a good one. A real good one. He's 6-foot-2, 225 pounds and doesn't shy away from the heavy traffic. He's probably the fastest skater on the team. He's got a decent shot. He kills penalties and plays the power play.

He does it all.