Less than a day after being named the NHL's first star of the week, Craig Anderson was leading the Ottawa Senators onto the ice at Scotiabank Place to take on the Winnipeg Jets with hopes of continuing their four-game winning streak.
Having soundly beaten Winnipeg both at home and away, the Senators perhaps were looking past the newest Canadian team, thinking more of their upcoming matchup against the Maple Leafs on Tuesday night.
After giving Jets' backup goaltender Chris Mason an early test, the Senators found themselves pinned back as the visiting team counterattacked, ending in Jim Slater driving to the net and sneaking a puck past Anderson less than a minute into the game.
Winnipeg would continue to pressure a surprisingly unmotivated Senators team, who did not appear to arrive until almost fifteen minutes into the game when Evander Kane drilled Erik Karlsson on a high hit into the end boards.
Carkner, Neil, Kane, and Mark Stuart spent the rest of the period in their respective penalty boxes, while Smith made dire promises to Kane that he would answer for his transgressions again later in the game.
Though Winnipeg ended up with a power play from the fracas thanks to Neil taking an additional minor penalty, the Senators successfully killed the penalty and finally began to put some pressure on Mason going into the second period, though the Red Deer native was able to stop every puck he faced.
Winnipeg extended their lead early in the second period when Tobias Enstrom fired a seeing-eye shot through traffic before Anderson could close down his five hole, and the potential drama of a rematch between Kane and the Ottawa bench fizzled out when the power forward returned to the game and remained on his best behavior, unchallenged by the home club.
Anderson stopped 33 shots, while a relatively untested Mason finally saw more work in the third period before ending the game with 25 saves and his second career shutout against the Senators in seven games.
The Senators will now set out on a road trip for the remainder of January, while Scotiabank Place is prepared to host the 2012 NHL All Star Game.