Senators top Jets 4-1 in season opener
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Paul MacLean was happy with the win — even if the Ottawa Senators weren't exactly picture-perfect getting it.
Erik Karlsson had a goal and two assists as the Senators spoiled the Winnipeg Jets' home opener with a 4-1 victory Saturday.
"I thought the game was played a little bit like a dog's breakfast ... in the first and second period," MacLean said. "And the third period, I thought we were able to get control of the game a little bit and establish a little bit more of our game."
Milan Michalek, Kyle Turris and Chris Neil scored Ottawa's other goals.
Dustin Byfuglien scored for the Jets. Craig Anderson stopped 27 shots for the Senators, while the Jets' Ondrej Pavelec faced 37 shots in front of a sellout crowd of 15,004 at MTS Centre.
"I think I didn't play really well today, didn't feel really good out there, but obviously it feels nice to contribute something," Karlsson said. "Getting the goal on the power play there is going to be good for us and hopefully we can build on this."
Karlsson sensed some players were a bit nervous before their first game back from the NHL lockout, but they started with a strong effort.
"I think the pace slowed down a little bit and it probably wasn't the best-played game from anyone," he said, "but we've just got to continue here and try to get the feeling back as quick as possible."
He also couldn't help but notice the loud crowd early on. Winnipeg fans 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.
The Jets went 23-13-5 on home ice and finished 37-35-10 for 84 points overall.
Fans had something to cheer about early in the second season's debut as the Jets 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 a pass from Tobias Enstrom and sent the puck past Anderson at 6:00 of the first period for the 1-0 lead.
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