The Winnipeg Jets gave up three first period goals and lost 5-3 to the Montreal Canadiens in game one of the National Hockey League's best-of-seven North Division final.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Eric Staal and Nick Suzuki scored in the opening frame for the Habs.

Adam Lowry, Derek Forbort and Kyle Connor did the goal scoring for the Jets who were playing their first game in nine days.

Connor's third goal of the Stanley Cup playoffs at 18:18 of the third period cut Montreal's lead to 4-3.

Canadiens forward Jake Evans had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher after taking a high hit from Mark Scheifele with less than a minute to go.

Several players surround a stretcher on the ice as Jake Evans is taken off.Players surround Jake Evans as he's stretchered off the the ice. (Ray Peters)

Evans had just scored into an empty net when Scheifele checked him at full speed at the side of the crease. The Jets forward received a charging major and game misconduct.

Brendan Gallagher had the other Montreal goal.

Habs netminder Carey Price made 27 saves while Winnipeg's Connor Hellebuyck faced 32 shots.

Game two goes Friday night at Bell MTS Place.


Written by Clayton Dreger