Senators top Jets 4-1 in season opener
- Associated Press
- January 19, 2013 - 6:29 PM
WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Erik Karlsson had a goal and two assists and the Ottawa Senators spoiled the Winnipeg Jets' home opener with a 4-1 victory Saturday.
Milan Michalek, Kyle Turris and Chris Neil, with the game-winner in the second period, scored Ottawa's other goals.
Dustin Byfuglien scored for the Jets, whose fans didn't miss a beat with loud cheers and chants of "Go Jets Go" that began during warmups.
Craig Anderson stopped 27 of the 28 shots he faced for the Senators, while Winnipeg goalie Ondrej Pavelec faced 37 shots.
Winnipeg fans had gained a reputation of being one of the loudest crowds in the league last season as they welcomed back an NHL squad after a 15-year absence. Games are sold out for three years and a waiting list is capped at 8,000.
Fans had something to cheer about early in the Jets' second season debut as Winnipeg took advantage of Ottawa's first penalty, a boarding call on Neil for sending Winnipeg defenseman Mark Stuart into the boards near the Jets' net.
Thirty seconds later, Byfuglien one-timed pass from Tobias Enstrom and sent the puck past Anderson at 6:00 of the first period for the 1-0 lead.
Byfuglien tied for second in league scoring last season for defensemen with 12 goals and 53 points in 66 games.
Michalek evened things up with 3:58 left in the opening period after Jets defenseman Paul Postma botched a clearing attempt.
The puck went to Sens defenseman Patrick Wiercioch at the point, who sent it toward the net for Michalek to poke it between Pavelec's legs.
Neil gave Ottawa the go-ahead goal with 2:58 left in the second period after the Jets couldn't clear a loose puck in their crease and he stretched his stick and tapped the puck in the open side.
Winnipeg had its fifth power-play opportunity early in third, but could not beat Anderson. The Jets finished 1 for 6 with the man advantage and the Senators were 1 for 2.
Karlsson got his team's power-play goal after Jets captain Andrew Ladd was in the penalty box for slashing.
Last year's Norris Trophy winner sent a shot from the point past a screened Pavelec a minute into the man advantage.
Turris stretched the lead to 4-1 when he went down the right wing and beat Pavelec on the stick side at 17:50.
Note: Daniel Alfredsson is the longest-serving captain in NHL, entering his 13 consecutive season wearing the C for the Senators.
© 2014 Star Tribune