An electrified Bell Centre crowd got their money's worth tonight as the home town Canadiens struck for two fast goals and never looked back in their 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins.
Brothers Sergei and Andrei Kostitsyn scored within the first 2:02 against a Bruins team that maybe should not have elected to have a game-day skate.
Shane Hnidy would redirect the Bruins' second shot of the game past rookie goalie Carey Price at the 8:34 mark. Price's focus may have been off with a near seven-minute gap between shots but would stop the remaining 17 shots he faced and showed great puck control the rest of the way.
The men who were considered quasi offseason acquisitions by GM Bob Gainey proved their worth as fourth liners Bryan Smolinski and Tom Kostopoulus would score in the second and third period respectively. Kostopoulus also netted and assist on the Smolinski goal.
The Canadiens brushed off the threat of the Bruins being more physical, outhitting their rivals in the first game. Roman Hamrlik brought the sellout crowd to it's feet with a booming hit on the Bruins Milan Lucic in the second period.
Tim Thomas continued to struggle against the Canadiens making 27 saves. All four Canadiens goals found their way through the five hole.
Despite their four goals, none came on their feared powerplay which went 0 for 6. The Bruins PP was 0 for 3.
Game two is Saturday in Montreal.
Three Stars: 1. Andrei Markov (Mtl) 2. Hamrlik (Mtl) 3. Kostopoulus (Mtl)