DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings needed only 40 good minutes to beat the Ottawa Senators.
Cory Emmerton had a goal and an assist to help Detroit beat Ottawa 5-3 on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
Todd Bertuzzi, Nicklas Lidstrom, Jiri Hudler and Ian White also scored for the Red Wings and Drew Miller had two assists. Jimmy Howard made 29 saves. Detroit led 5-0 early in the third period.
“I didn’t like the way we played the third, that’s something we’ve got to get past. We were lackadaisical,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We let them back in the game. There is no way you should do that to your goalie when he’s done a good job.”
Milan Michalek scored twice, and Filip Kuba added a goal for Ottawa. Jason Spezza had two assists, and Craig Anderson stopped 34 shots.
“One of those nights, you made a mistake, they made you pay,” Anderson said.
It was Paul MacLean’s first game as the Senators’ head coach after six seasons as an assistant coach with the Red Wings.
“(Detroit) looked a lot like it did when I was on the other bench from this bench,” MacLean said. “For me, I felt comfortable being here at Joe Louis Arena, I’ve been here before. But we made a few mistakes.”
Bertuzzi scored Detroit’s first goal of the season, connecting with 3:01 left in the first period. He scored on a breakaway from the Ottawa blue line after taking a pass up the middle from Darren Helm.
The Red Wings added three goals in the second period to take a 4-0 lead.
Lidstrom made it 2-0 just 1:39 into the period when the Detroit captain capitalized on Chris Phillips’ turnover, moved in from the left circle and beat Anderson after a couple of moves.
Emmerton and Hudler scored 58 seconds apart in the middle of the period. Emmerton poked in Drew Miller’s pass at 9:40 and Hudler put a backhand shot past Anderson at 10:38, after taking a lead pass from Pavel Datsyuk.
“We had a game plan of wanting to make their defence turn (in Ottawa’s zone) and get in on them,” Emmerton said. “Anytime you can do that you can get some chances. And it’s tough to play when your feet are facing your own net.”
MacLean talked about the results of that strategy.
“We had the puck three times and weren’t able to get it out of the zone,” he said.
White added his first goal in his first game with Detroit, 3:12 into the third period. Michalek spoiled Howard’s shutout bid 5:49 into the third.
Michalek’s second goal came on the power play, 8:20 into the third period. Kuba added another power-play goal with 1:31 left.
“Our penalty killing has to be sharper,” Lidstrom said. “They got two power-play goals to get back into the game. Our penalty killing has to be better than that in this league.”
NOTES: There was a tribute to former Detroit assistant coach and player Brad McCrimmon, former Red Wings defenceman 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 No. 2 jerseys and flowers by Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg and Datsyuk. The team will wear a patch with their initials throughout the season. … Lidstrom—beginning his 20th season—played his 1,495th game, tying him with Phil Housley for 15th in NHL history and fifth in among defencemen. … Red Wings D Niklas Kronwall replaced the retired Kris Draper as the team’s third alternate captain. Kronwall will rotate wearing the “A” with Datsyuk and Zetterberg. … Ottawa C Peter Regin didn’t play because of a shoulder injury. … Detroit D Mike Commodore missed the game because of a knee injury.