Opening Night disaster for Sens

Detroit Red Wings center Jiri Hudler scores a goal against Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson...

Detroit Red Wings center Jiri Hudler scores a goal against Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson during the second period of their NHL hockey game in Detroit, Michigan, October 7, 2011. (REUTERS/Rebecca Cook)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:48 PM ET

DETROIT - The bad news: For must of Friday night, the Senators looked like the cellar dwellers some people are predicting they will be this season.

The good news: Even down 5-0, the Senators didn't quit, scoring three goals.

The best news: The Toronto Maple Leafs are up next ... and the Senators get a bit of an added bounce to their step when playing their provincial rivals.

Paul MacLean's debut as a coach at the Joe Louis Arena, where he'd been an assistant coach with the Red Wings, didn't turn out the way he wanted. The Senators hung goalie Craig Anderson out to dry in a 5-3 loss.

The Senators suffered their fourth straight loss on Opening Night. Milan Michalek scored twice in the third, while Filip Kuba added the other after Detroit built a 5-0 lead.

The Senators kept it close for awhile, but eventually the Wings put Ottawa in its place as Jimmy Howard made 29 stops, while Todd Bertuzzi, Jiri Hudler, Nicklas Lidstrom, Ian White and Cory Emmerton scored.

Picked by many to be the NHL's worst team, the Senators certainly lived up to that billing for two periods.

Michalek tipped a Jason Spezza shot past Howard at 5:49,then scored at 8:22. beating a sprawling Howard on the glove side. .

So frustrated was MacLean after Hudler gave the Wings a 4-0 lead at 10:38 of the second, he called a timeout to try to get the troops settled down.

The Senators became a turnover machine in the second period. Three bad decisions by Ottawa defencemen resulted in goals for the Wings.

No, the defence and Anderson didn't get any offensive support from the forwards, but giving up two Hudler's goal at 10:38 came fter a Jared Cowen and Bobby Butler couldn't complete a pass near centre ice. Drew Miller knocked Erik Karlsson off a puck behind the net to set up Emmerton's goal.

Then there was a gaffe by Chris Phillips, who coughed up the puck to Lidstrom after getting hit by Bertuzzi and the the Hall-of-Fame defenceman beat Anderson stick side.

The Senators did a good job of challenging the Wings in the first, limiting the shots to the outside until a horrible defensive breakdown resulted in a 1-0 Detroit lead.

Darren Helm made a perfect pass through the middle of the ice to Bertuzzi, who was able to get behind a floating Sergei Gonchar to beat Anderson top shelf. That came after Cowen had gone to the bench.

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @sungarrioch


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