Lots of new and non-regular faces to the organization yes, but it's not hard to connect the dots as to why the Thrashers-now-Jets were the second-worst defensive team in the NHL last season. Matters in the defensive zone were simply not buttoned down correctly on too many occasions, and that was reflected on the scoreboard.
This Jets version had its chances against Columbus's half-team, but failed to bury. Centre Jim Slater, in particular, found himself in several good places and led the visitors with four shots on goal but came out with nothing to show for it.
Winnipeg's Evander Kane scored at 6:21 of the second to make it 3-1 and give a flicker of hope it would be a game. But in three minutes, that was snuffed out when Columbus's Antoine Vermette was sniffing around the net and put home a rebound on Chris Mason.
Witih split squads and the exhibition opener, neither side iced anything close to its team on Tuesday, here or in Wininpeg. But Columbus held back forwards Rick Nash and Jeff Carter from either game, and rested No. 1 goalie Steve Mason until tonight's home game versus Washington.
Jets governor and co-owner Mark Chipman was in New York for an NHL governors' meeting Tuesday, his first as an NHL owner, and couldn't get to Winnipeg for the pre-season game there. He did, however, manage to arrive in Columbus just in time to see his team appear in its new uniforms. Too bad that was the only highlight of his detour.
Free Press ★★★
★ Maksim Mayorov, Columbus. Two points, key goal early in second.
★★ Paul Dainton, Columbus, stopped 17 of 18 shots over final 2 periods.
★★★ Evander Kane, Winnipeg — first (and only) Jets goal.
1. Columbus, Holden 1 (Chaput, Gabriel) 9:08 (pp)
Penalties -- Wheeler Wpg (roughing) 7:34, Kane Wpg (interference) 14:46.
2. Columbus, Mayorov 1, 0:33
3. Columbus, Jenner 1 (Wisniewski, Moore) 4:26
4. Winnipeg, Kane 1 (Wheeler) 6:21
5. Columbus, Vermette 1 (Wisniewski, Umberger) 9:32 (pp)
6. Columbus, Pahlsson 1 (Martinek, Mayorov) 12:36
Penalty -- Ramsey Wpg (interference) 7:51.
Penalties -- Savard Clb (tripping) 0:42, Meech Wpg (high-sticking) 9:34, Boll Clb (roughing) 12:06, Chaput Clb (roughing) 18:26.
Shots on goal by
Winnipeg 8 11 7 -- 26
Columbus 5 14 4 -- 23
Goal (shots-saves) -- Winnipeg: C.Mason (L,0-1-0)(19-14), Mannino (start third; 4-4); Columbus: Dekanich (8-8), Dainton (W,1-0-0)(start second; 18-17).
Power plays (goals-chances) -- Winnipeg: 0-1; Columbus: 2-3.
Referees -- Dean Morton, Ian Walsh. Linesmen -- Mark Shewchyk, Matt MacPherson.
Attendance -- 8,855 (18,144).