Dustin Byfuglien scored early for the Winnipeg Jets in Ottawa as they wrapped up their short two-day, two-game road trip against the Senators Thursday night. Despite the early goal, the Ottawa Senators prevailed as they defeated the Jets 4-1 in their home barn.
There were no shortages of chances for the Jets, as they outshot the Sens 36-30 in the match with Sens netminder Craig Anderson earning himself the first star of the game.
Milan Michalek scored twice for the Sens and added an assist for a three-point outing while Jason Spezza tallied three points of his own with a goal and a pair of helpers.
The Senators improve to 2-5-0 on the season while the Jets slide to 1-4-1 as they head home for a two-game homestand against the Carolina Hurricanes and the NY Rangers.
Just a minute and half into the game, Alex Burmistrov got his stick up too high on Peter Regin resulting in a four-minute major. The Sens came close as Jason Spezza rang a puck off the crossbar then Erik Karlsson hit Pavelec's goal post and bounced out. A few close calls and a few great saves from Pavelec and his trusty goal post kept the game scoreless after the early four minute power play.
The game slowed down until just over the five minute mark when Burmistrov dug a puck out of the corner and dished a nice pass onto the tape of Dustin Byfuglien near the blue line. Byfuglien fired a slap shot right through Sens goalie Craig Anderson and into the back of the net to give the Jets a 1-0 lead. Nik Antropov credited with the second helper.
After 20 minutes of play, the Jets led 13-12 on the shot clock and 1-0 on the scoreboard.
Kyle Wellwood came close just over a minute into the second period as he took a shot down low that went off of Anderson's arm, hit the post and bounced back out.
The Sens were able to get on the scoreboard at 4:48. With Antropov in the box for hooking, Spezza snapped a shot on net from the top of the left circle. Pavelec spat out a rebound that two Sens jumped on and Milan Michalek was able to wrist the second rebound into back of the net tying the game at one.
The Sens took their first lead of the game with 6:41 remaining in the middle frame. Colin Greening dished the puck from behind the net to Spezza who was set up in the slot. Spezza released a quick snap shot over the shoulder of Pavelec to take a 2-1 lead.
After 40 minutes of play, the Jets trailed the Sens 2-1. Shots 24-22 for the home team.
Pavelec came up with a huge save early in the first period robbing rookie Mika Zibanejad on a one-timer from the left slot, keeping the game at 2-1.
Minutes later, Andrew Ladd left the game as he took a puck to the face and was escorted to the locker room for repairs.
Things got worse for the Jets on the injury front as Blake Wheeler took a puck to the leg forcing him to crawl to the bench. He was in the dressing room only a few minutes however, before he was able to return to the lineup.
Daniel Alfresson made it a 3-1 game at 9:15 of the third period as the Jets turned over the puck in the neutral zone. Alfredsson charged into the Jets zone and fired a wrist shot from inside the right circle that just beat Pavelec on his stick side.
Ladd found his way back to the bench after getting a few repairs from the puck that hit him in the face.
With five minutes to play in regulation, Alfredsson went to the box for tripping. Coach Noel pulled Pavelec from his net to give his team a six on four advantage that unfortunately did not pay off. The game remained 3-1 Senators with three minutes to play.
The Sens went on to add an empty net goal to make the final decision 4-1.
The Jets return home to host the Carolina Hurricanes Saturday night at 6:00 pm on CBC.