Goalie Craig Anderson tallies 27 saves as Senators blast Jets
Winnipeg, MB, Canada (4E Sports) – Goaltender Craig Anderson stymied 27 attempts as the Ottawa Senators opened their campaign with a 4-1 triumph over the Winnipeg Jets in the first all-Canadian showdown of the season Saturday at MTS Center.
Anderson, who tormented the Jets last season with a .932 save percentage in the clubs’ four-game season series, gave up a power-play goal to fan favorite Dustin Byfuglien in the first period but silenced the Jets the rest of the way.
He also had a huge stop on Byfuglien’s point-blank range shot early in the third that could have tied the game.
Ondrej Pavelec, who signed a five-year contract with the Jets last summer, stopped 33 shots while Byfuglien scored the Jets’ lone tally.
Byfuglien, who ranked second in scoring among defensemen with a career-high 53 points last season, made Ottawa pay 30 seconds after Chris Neil drove Jets defenseman Mark Stuart into the end boards by scoring the Jets’ first goal six minutes into the game.
Tobias Enstrom slid a cross-ice pass to Byfuglien, who unleashed a rising left-circle shot that beat Anderson cleanly under the crossbar.
However, Milan Michalek, who scored five goals against the Jets, delivered the game-tying goal at the 16:02 mark from an assist by Patrick Wiercioch.
Neil redeemed himself late in the second period by pouncing on a big rebound and tucking it behind Pavelec to give Ottawa a 2-1 lead with 2:48 remaining in the middle period.
In the third, Erik Karlsson scored on a power-play goal from an assist by Sergei Gonchar to stake the Senators to a 3-1 advantage.
Kyle Turris then capped the scoring when he deflected a right-side shot off Byfuglien’s leg and past Pavelec with 2:10 to play.
Last season, the Senators surprised the New York Rangers by extending them to seven games in the first round of the playoffs. This season, they added blueliner Marc Methot to go with forwards Guillaume Latendresse and youngster Jakob Silfverberg.
Winnipeg, for its part, added forward depth by signing veteran center Olli Jokinen and winger Alexei Ponikarovsky.