WINNIPEG -- The early edge didn't turn into anything further and the Winnipeg Jets have dropped their NHL season-opener 4-1 to the Ottawa Senators this afternoon at the MTS Centre.

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Winnipeg Jets' Kyle Wellwood and Evander Kane sandwich Ottawa Senators' Daniel Alfredsson during the second period of play at MTS Centre Saturday.

TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Winnipeg Jets' Kyle Wellwood and Evander Kane sandwich Ottawa Senators' Daniel Alfredsson during the second period of play at MTS Centre Saturday.

WINNIPEG -- The early edge didn't turn into anything further and the Winnipeg Jets have dropped their NHL season-opener 4-1 to the Ottawa Senators this afternoon at the MTS Centre.

Dustin Byfuglien's first-period goal was erased by four unanswered markers by the Sens.

Ottawa had the only two goals of the third period, by Erik Karlsson and Kyle Turris.

*  *  *

The season starts with three games in four days for Winnipeg, including contests in Boston Monday and Washington on Tuesday.

Managing his team’s rest – and how he uses the bench – will be critical for Jets head coach Claude Noel and his rivals this year. But the little picture, winning ASAP, will override the big picture -- especially in a condensed season.

"You can say that you are planning for the third game in four nights, but I don’t know of a coach who goes out and doesn’t coach to win the game in front of him," Noel said. "We know how we’d like the game to go and how we’d like to utilize our roster. But I just don’t think it’s going to happen as clean as that. I think you’re going to be ready for a lot of stuff.

"I’d like to be able to tell you I’m smarter than the other coaches and I’ve got a better plan, but I’d be lying if I told you that."

tim.campbell@freepresss.mb.ca

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca / Twitter: @WFPEd Tait