(Saturday, January 19th)
Final Score: Ottawa 4, Winnipeg 1
Winnipeg, MB (Sports Network) - Erik Karlsson, last year's Norris Trophy winner, had a goal and an assist to lift the Ottawa Senators over the Winnipeg Jets, 4-1, in the season-opener for both teams.
Chris Neil, Milan Michalek and Kyle Turris also lit the lamp for the Senators, who lost to the top-seeded New York Rangers in seven games in the first round of the playoffs last season.
"Obviously it's fun to win, and especially the first one here, I think it was a big one for us," Karlsson said. "I don't think we played the best game we are going to this year but we came away with a win and right now that's the important thing."
Craig Anderson made 27 saves for Ottawa, which exceeded just about everybody's expectations with a 92-point season in 2011-12, an 18-point improvement from the previous year.
Dustin Byfuglien scored the lone goal for the Jets, who finished eight points out of a playoff spot last season.
Ondrej Pavelec stopped 33-of-37 shots in defeat.
The Jets opened the scoring six minutes into the first period. Byfuglien's one-timer from the top of the left circle got past Anderson. The goal came 30 seconds after Neil was sent to the penalty box for boarding.
Michalek tied the game with 3:58 left in the opening stanza. After Winnipeg turned the puck over in its own zone, Michalek snuck one through Pavelec's five-hole.
Ottawa took the lead with 2:48 remaining in the middle frame. Karlsson's shot from the right point set up a rebound in front. Neil managed to backhand the puck into the back of the net for a 2-1 edge.
"I thought that we started off pretty decent, I thought our power looked like it was good in the beginning and then we had trouble executing," Jets coach Claude Noel said. "I thought the goal late in the second period was one, when you look at it, to me it was a major, major goal with three minutes to go in the second period was a tough goal for us."
The Senators scored twice in the third period to put the game away. Karlsson's one-timer from the top of the left circle at the 12:15 mark made it 3-1. The goal came one minute after Andrew Ladd was sent to the box for slashing.
Turris lit the lamp with 2:10 left to account for the final margin.
Ottawa won three of four games against the Jets last season and has taken six of the last nine matchups in this series ... Winnipeg defenseman Zach Bogosian (wrist) and forward Antti Miettinen (upper body) are out indefinitely ... The Jets went 37-35-10 in 2011-12 ... Senators defenseman Mike Lundin missed the game with a broken finger ... The Jets were 1-for-6 on the power play.
01/19 19:37:38 ET