The Ottawa Senators attempted a third period comeback but fell a goal short Monday night in a 4-3 defeat to the Winnipeg Jets.
In his second start with the Sens (13-22-4), Anton Forsberg made 42 saves while Ryan Dzingel, Josh Norris and Connor Brown scored. Winnipeg's (23-13-3) Connor Hellebuyck stopped 20 shots as Pierre-Luc Dubois (2), Adam Lowry and Kyle Connor had goals.
"We didn't play the way you have to play," Sens head coach D.J. Smith said. "We turned way too many pucks over. We weren't desperate enough. We battled back too little too late.
"That's a desperate team over there and we weren't ready when the game started. We just had too many guys not going tonight."
Dubois had the only goal of the first period and it came 2:10 in as he buried Blake Wheeler's pass from behind the net for his seventh in a Jets jersey. The Sens had opportunities, most notably on the power play, but failed to convert on its three chances.
Winnipeg made it 2-0 4:19 into the second period as Lowry scored from the top of the left faceoff circle but Dzingel got Ottawa on the board 29 seconds later as after losing possession behind the net, he stuck with it and reacted quickest to flick a shot past Hellebuyck after the puck squirmed loose at the side of the net for his sixth with the Senators.
Dubois scored his second of the night on the power play at 8:38 as the Jets scored with one second left on Brady Tkachuk's slashing penalty as he was left alone to the left of Forsberg.
Connor pushed the Jets lead to 4-1 with 3:48 left in the period as he tried to centre for Nikolaj Ehlers but the puck hit the stick of Chris Tierney and slid in.
"We weren't ready to play and that clearly showed," Dzingel said. "I'm sure we're going to fix it and be ready to go next game because that clearly wasn't good enough."
The Senators did convert on the power play eventually as Norris grabbed his ninth of the year with 9:35 left in regulation as his wrister beat Hellebuyck glove side.
Brown's goal with 2:55 left in regulation got the Senators within one but they were unable to trouble Hellebuyck down the stretch to force the game to overtime.
"We got rewarded with a few [goals] in the third period but ultimately the better team won," Smith said.
Forsberg's 42 saves tied his career high in the NHL.
The Sens are back in action Wednesday when they host Edmonton.