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This article was published 9/10/2011 (2932 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
WINNIPEG — Stage fright and opposing snipers shot down the Winnipeg Jets in their home-opener today.
The Jets gave up three third-period goals and simply couldn't catch up, losing 5-1 to the Montreal Canadiens at the MTS Centre.
Montreal also had a fast start, getting Mike Cammalleri's goal just 3:05 in, making the home fans' task all the more tough.
"The players knew there was going to be a tremendous loudness and emotion on the part of the fans and I thought we just wanted to have a strong start and try to take the fans out of it by getting ahead of them," said Canadiens coach Jacques Martin.
Winnipeg pulled to within a goal at 2-1 when Nik Antropov scored at 2:27 of the final period, but that was as close as the Jets could get.
Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec said the team's nine-day break between the final pre-season game and Sunday's historic opener was no excuse.
"Of course it was a long time, but that's no excuse at all," Pavelec said. "We have to be ready whenever we have to play. We knew it was going to be like that (pressure) and it's exciting time for people. It was exciting for us.
"We didn't have a good start, we made some mistakes and they scored a goal. We got better in the second half of the first period. We'd make a mistake and they'd score goals. Sometimes those things happen. We had a lot of scoring chances, too."
The Jets outshot Montreal 31-22 but had only one solution for Habs goalie Carey Price, who was excellent.
Tomas Plekanec had a goal and two assists to lead the Canadiens, who are now 1-1 in the early season.
Updated on Sunday, October 9, 2011 at 4:35 PM CDT: Updates score.
5:10 PM: Updates at end of first period.
5:57 PM: Updates at the end of the second period.
6:23 PM: Updates score, art.
6:39 PM: Updates score.
7:02 PM: Updates end of game.
8:13 PM: Changes art.
8:46 PM: Inserted Tim Campbell update with quotes.