Montreal downs Winnipeg 5-3 to take game one; Game marred by Scheifele hit in final moments Featured

Thursday, 03 June 2021 02:34 Written by  Published in Game Stories
Winnipeg, Manitoba (NHN)-Eric Staal scored a goal and added an assist to pace the Montreal Canadiens to a 5-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets and a 1-0 lead in the North Division Finals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs Wednesday night.

The Canadiens, who immediately flew to Winnipeg after downing the Toronto Maple Leafs Monday night in game 7 were on their game early as they jumped out to a two-goal lead in the first period.

The Jets, who had twelve days between games after dispatching the Edmonton Oilers in four straight games looked rusty early.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Eric Staal, Nick Suzuki, Brendan Gallagher and Jake Evans scored for Montreal.

Joel Edmundson and Jeff Petry had a pair of assists for the Canadiens.

Carey Price stopped 27 shots for Montreal.

Adam Lowry, Derek Forbort and Kyle Connor scored for the Jets.

Connor Hellebuyck made 28 saves for Winnipeg.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi got the Canadiens on the board 3:30 into the contest tipping in a Jeff Petry slap shot from the point past Winnipeg goaltender Connor Hellebuyck to make it 1-0 Montreal.

The goal was his 4th of the playoffs.

Eric Staal gave Montreal two-goal lead 1:40 later when Corey Perry took a drop pass from Joel Edmundson before moving in along the goal line and moving the puck to Perry as Jet defenceman Logan Stanley nailed him.

Staal fired the disc past Hellebuyck to make it 2-0.

The goal was his 1st of the playoffs.

Adam Lowry scored on a shorthanded breakaway at 11:52, splitting the Montreal defence before moving in and beating Carey Price on a backhand deke to make it 2-1.

The goal was his 1st of the playoffs.

Nick Suzuki scored at 17:14 taking Joel Edmundson's long bank pass off the boards at the Jets blue line before patiently moving in and toe dragging Hellebuyck before sliding the puck into a wide open cage to make it 3-1.

The goal was his 3rd of the playoffs.

There was no scoring in the second period.

Winnipeg pulled to within a goal at 9:22 of the third when Pierre-Luc Dubois found an open Derek Forbort and hit him with a crisp pass Brendan Gallagher restored the two-goal cushion for Montreal at 11:04 as he knocked a loose puck sitting in the crease past Hellebuyck after he made a breakaway save on Shea Weber to make it 4-2.

The goal was his second of the playoffs.

With Hellebiuyck pulled for an extra attacker Nikolaj Ehlers found Kyle Connor alone with a cross crease pass and the Jet winger made no mistake beating Carey Price with a one timer.

The game took an ugly turn after Jake Evans scored on a wraparound into an empty net to make it 5-3.

Jets centerman Mark Scheifele, who was backchecking hard on the play, nailed Evans with a stiff bodycheck after he scored and knocked him out cold.

Scheifele was assessed a five minute major for charging and a game misconduct.

Game two goes Friday night in Winnipeg.

SHOTS-MONTREAL 33 WINNIPEG 30

The Jets had 500 health care workers in attendance at Wednesday night's game after the Manitoba government allowed fully vaccinated front line workers to attend.

Last modified on Thursday, 03 June 2021 04:47
Philip Paul-Martin

A well rounded journalist with experience in both print and broadcast mediums, Philip has written news stories with impact, broken national news while at the CBC, anchored radio news and hosted talk show radio. His coverage includes feature writing, game stories and more in-depth pieces during the off-season as well as writing about the National Hockey League and the Winnipeg Jets. He calls Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada home.