Coming into this year, many experts were asking, can Erik Karlsson live up to the ridiculous standard he set last season?
If Saturday afternoon's opener in Winnipeg is any indication, the defending Norris Trophy Champ is going to be just fine. Karlsson racked up a goal and two assists, leading the Sens to a convincing 4-1 win in their first game of the abbreviated 2013 season.
As you'd expect, there was plenty of rust for the Senators to shake off in the early going.
The Jets took the play to Ottawa through the first 10 minutes, registering the majority of the quality scoring chances and ultimately getting on the board first on a power play goal by Dustin Byfuglien. That seemed to provide Ottawa with the wake up call they needed, as Paul MacLean's team largely dominated the game from that point on.
Milan Michalek struck first for the Sens, picking up where he left off from last season. In the second period,
Ottawa found their legs a little bit and you could sense the tide turning. Late in the second, Chris Neil knocked a back hand past a helpless Onrej Pavelec, giving the Senators a one goal lead heading into the final frame.
The Jets had a couple chances to tie the game in the third but Craig Anderson was strong in the Ottawa goal. Erik Karlsson provided the insurance on the power play with a rocket that beat Pavelec high and Kyle Turris scored just over five minutes later to put the game away for the visitors.
Obviously there was plenty to like in Ottawa's season opening win but the play of Marc Methot really stood out for me. He looked extremely comfortable playing with Erik Karlsson and was certainly the Sens most impressive defenceman in his own end. It's obviously a small sample size but he really seems like the ideal partner for Karlsson.
The Senators look to build on yesterday's win when they play their home opener against Alex Kovalev and the Florida Panthers tomorrow night.