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It was a long wait for Jets fans but the NHL finally dropped the puck on the condensed 2012-13 season today. The Jets kicked their season off on a chilly, yet sunny Saturday afternoon in Winnipeg, against the Ottawa Senators.
The opening frame started off pretty good with end to end action and decent speed on both ends of the ice. Dustin Byfuglien opened the scoring for the Jets but the Senators answered back to tie things up.
Ottawa's Chris Neil scored the only goal in the second period and it was 2-1 after two periods. It was all Sens in the third period as they added a pair of goals to make it 4-1.
The Jets drop their season opener at the hands of the Senators. Shots favoured the Sens 37-28, Pavelec making 33 saves. The team now hits the road for a pair of games starting in Boston on Monday.
Senators: Marc Methot, Milan Michalek, Jason Spezza, Jakob Silfverberg, Erik Karlsson and Craig Anderson in net.
The first five minutes was full of energy and emotion with end to end action and a couple of post hits for the Jets but the game remained scoreless.
The first penalty came at 5:30 and went to Ottawa's Chris Neil for boarding, sending the Jets on their first power play of the day. It took 30 seconds to capitalize on the advantage as Toby Enstrom sent a nice set up to Dustin Byfuglien on the point. Byfuglien blasted a hard slap shot that flew past Anderson to make it 1-0 Jets. Andrew Ladd picked up the second assist on the goal.
The Senators answered back with just under four minutes to play in the opening period as Milan Michalek slid a wrist shot through the five-hole of Pavelec after a point shot didn't make it on net. 1-1.
With under a minute to play, Nik Antropov and Daniel Alfredsson were sent to the penalty box for slashing and cross checking. Nothing more to report after the 50 seconds of 4-on-4 play, as both teams headed off the ice all squared at one.
By the 12 minute mark of the second period, the Jets were handed to power play opportunities but could not find a way to put one away to go up on the Senators and the period moves on still tied at one a piece.
The best chance of the period came to Mark Scheifele who was parked all alone in front of Anderson in the slot. Jim Slater dished him a nice pass from behind the net and Scheifele sent a bouncing shot right into the glove of Anderson. Close, but no cigar.
The Sens broke the tie at 17:12 of the period. Pavelec made the initial save but the puck trickled aside along the crease line. Neil was there to backhand the puck into the empty net. 2-1 Sens. Erik Karlsson and Colin Greening get the assists.
After two periods of play, the Sens led the Jets 2-1.
The Jets saw yet another power play chance as Latendresse headed to the box for high-sticking at 6:18 of the final frame. The power play attempt was weak as the Jets failed to get anything going with the extra attacker and remained down a goal after the two minutes.
The first Jets penalty since Antropov took one in the first period went to Ladd with about eight minutes left on the clock. As long as it took for the Sens to get set up on the power play, Karlsson blasted one from the point that soared over the shoulder of Pavelec, thanks to a screen set up in front. Sergei Gonchar picked up the assist on the power play goal to make it 3-1 Sens... with time ticking down.
Kyle Turris added some insurance for the Senators with close to two minutes left on the clock to make it 4-1. He fired an easy snap shot to the right of Pavelec that found the back of the net.
Shots on net after 60 minutes, 36-28 in favour of the Senators. The Jets drop their home and season opener match and hit the road to Boston where they will face the Bruins on Monday at 12:00 pm.