The Winnipeg Jets dropped the puck on their inaugural season Sunday night in front of an electric sold out crowd of 15,004 excited fans. The energy in the building was chilling to say the least as the GO JETS GO chants shook the MTS Centre.
Mike Cammalleri opened the scoring in the first period and the Habs continued to roll scoring once in the second period and three times in the third to take a 5-1 decision.
Nik Antropov became the first Winnipeg Jet to score this season as he tipped a rebound past Habs netminder, Carey Price 2:27 into the second frame.
Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec kicked away 17 of 22 shots faced while Price stopped 30 of 31 earning himself the second star of the game.
The Jets now hit the road for a two game road trip starting off in Chicago against the Blackhawks on October 13th followed by a visit to Phoenix to face the Coyotes on October 15th.
Despite a few early chances and a couple of nifty passes by the young Mark Scheifele, it was the Montreal Candiens who got on the scoreboard first just 3:05 into the opening frame. Mike Cammalleri found himself in scoring position just inside the right circle, he let go of a hard snap shot that went straight through the legs of Jets netminder Ondrej Pavelec to give the Habs a 1-0 lead.
The first penalty of the afternoon was dished out to Jets' Jim Slater for holding, at 8:45. The PK group put to the test for the first time int he regular season and were successful in the task at hand. The Jets later got their chance on the man advantage as Tobias Enstrom was tripped up by Eric Cole in the corner in the Montreal end.
With time winding down on the Jets power play and the first period, Mike Cammalleri appeared to fall awkwardly after a face-off. He skated to the bench favouring his right leg and was immediately helped off the ice for medical attention.
With 1:11 remaining in the opening frame, Hal Gill was sent to the bin for interference. 41 seconds later, Alexei Emelin got caught for tripping with 30 seconds left on the clock, giving the Jets a 30 second two-man advantage. Unfortunately the Jets weren't able to keep the puck in the Montreal zone and couldn't convert a goal on the opportunity.
Shots after 20 minutes were 8-7 for the hometown squad.
Although the Jets started the period on the man advantage, they quickly found themselves down a man as Zach Bogosian went off for holding at 1:44 of the second.
The penalties continued with the Canadiens taking the next whistle when Yannick Weber took down Blake Wheeler who was almost on a clear breakaway. The Jets battled hard on the power play but were unable to solve Carey Price. Af the midway mark of the second frame, the score remains 1-0 Montreal.
The Habs struck again later in the second period as Tomas Plekanec was able to stickhandle around Jets' Johnny Oduya to get in all alone with Pavelec. Plekanec took advantage of the turned over puck and put one through the legs of Pavelec to give the Habs a 2-0 lead at 14:17 of the second period.
That's how the period would end, despite a handful of chances on both ends of the ice. The Jets had 10 shots on net in the period while Montreal added eight to their tally heading into the third period leading 2-0.
The Jets found some light at the beginning of the final frame. Nik Antropov picked up the first ever Winnipeg Jet goal just 2:27 in, cutting the Habs lead to one. Mark Stuart fired a hard slap shot on Price just inside the Montreal zone. Antropov used his size and strength in front of Price and was able to tap in the rebound. Alex Burmistrov was credited with the second assist. Montreal 2, Jets 1.
After a questionable interference call to Dustin Byfugien, Yannick Weber was able to regain the two goal lead for the Canadiens at 4:51 of the final period on a four-on-three power play.
Travis Moen was able to increase the lead for the Canadiens as he barged his way over the bluline, squeezed though Bogosian and Stuart and burried another one through the legs of Pavelec. 4-1 Habs.
Things went from bad to worse quickly for the Jets in the third period as Max Pacioretty capitalized on a two-on-one opportunity with just over six minutes to play in regulation.
The Jets would have one last chance on the man advantage to close the gap on the Canadiens lead but time wound down on the home team Winnipeg Jets. The Jets dropped 5-1 to the Montreal Canadiens in their historic regular season home opener at the MTS Centre.c