DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The Wings dominated the first two periods of the season opener and the Detroit Red Wings beat the Ottawa Senators 5-3 on Friday night.
As heard on WXYT 1270 – the Wings were up 5-0 entering the third period and the Senators slowly began to respond offensively – scoring all three of their goals in the final period.
Todd Bertuzzi got things started for the Wings – scoring first on snap shot against Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson.
The Wings netted three in the second period; Nicklas Lidstrom, Cory Emmerton and Jiri Hudler each put in one. Ian White capped the scoring for the Wings in the final period.
Drew Miller had two assists for the Wings – Emmerton added an assist in the evening too.
“Can’t get frustrated … got to stay focused, ” said Lidstrom postgame. “We got away with a win but we know we can’t play like that.”
The Senators made their move in the last period – scoring three – but too little – too late against the dominating Wings.
“I didn’t think we were as urgent as we needed to be,” said head coach Mike Babcock. “We’ll get better … don’t like the way we played in the third – no way you should do that to your goalie.”
Wings goalie Jimmy Howard focused on the positive: “A great job, we were all over them in the second.”
“That’s the new NHL you can’t quit … you can’t let up, you’ve got to play to the final buzzer,” Howard said about the Ottawa scoring spurt in the final period.
Howard had 29 saves during play, Ottawa’s Anderson had 34.
It was Paul MacLean’s first game as the Senators’ head coach after six seasons as an assistant coach with the Red Wings.
There was a tribute to former Detroit assistant coach and player Brad McCrimmon, former Red Wings defenseman Ruslan Salei and former Detroit goalie prospect Stefan Liv before the game.
They died in the Russian plane crash that wiped out the Locomotiv Yaroslavl team in early September.
McCrimmon’s wife, daughter and son were presented Red Wings “McCrimmon 2″ jerseys and flowers by Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg and Datsyuk. The team will wear a patch with their initials throughout the season.
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