Secure in their 5-0 third-period lead, the Detroit Red Wings seemed to let up against the Ottawa Senators.
It almost came back to bite them.
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. Detroit led 5-0 early in the third.
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.
“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.”
Elsewhere in the NHL it was: Dallas 2 Chicago 1; Los Angeles 3 New York 2 (OT); Buffalo 4 Anaheim 1; Nashville 3 Columbus 2; and Tampa Bay 5 Carolina 1.
At Detroit, 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. “Any time 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.”
Stars 2 Blackhawks 1
At Dallas, Kari Lehtonen stopped 37 shots, Alex Goligoski and Jamie Benn scored second-period goals, and the Stars gave coach Glen Gulutzan a victory in his NHL debut, holding off Chicago.
Kings 3 Rangers 2 (OT)
At Stockholom, Sweden, Jack Johnson scored on a power play at 4:08 of overtime to lift Los Angeles past New York.
Sabres 4 Ducks 1
At Helsinki, Finland, Thomas Vanek scored two power-play goals, and Ryan Miller made 29 saves to help Buffalo open the season with a victory over Anaheim.
Predators 3 Blue Jackets 2
At Columbus, Ohio, Ryan Suter had a goal and an assist and Craig Smith scored his first NHL goal in Nashville’s victory over Columbus.
Lightning 5 Hurricanes 1
At Raliegh, N.C., Martin St. Louis had a goal and an assist, and Dwayne Roloson stopped 32 shots to lead Tampa Bay past Carolina.