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Sergei and Andrei Kostitsyn scored goals 1:28 apart in the opening minutes of their playoff debuts, and the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Boston Bruins 4-1 in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series Thursday night.
Carey Price also made his playoff debut, stopping 17 shots for Montreal, which finished first overall in the Eastern Conference with 104 points, in large part thanks to their season series sweep of Boston.
Bryan Smolinski and Tom Kostopoulos also scored for the Canadiens, which won all eight regular-season meetings between the two long-time rivals.
Bruins goalie Tim Thomas also played his first playoff game. The 33-year-old stopped 28 shots.
Montreal will host Game 2 of the best-of-seven series Saturday night.
Shane Hnidy scored in the first to draw Boston within 2-1 after Sergei Kostitsyn opened the scoring 34 seconds in and Andrei Kostitsyn gave the Canadiens a two-goal lead at 2:02.
Smolinski, who debuted with Boston in the 1992-93 season, scored 5:26 into the second to restore Montreal's two-goal lead at 3-1.
It was Smolinski's 23rd playoff goal in 112 playoff games, his first with the Canadiens.
Kostopoulos scored his first playoff goal 7:24 into the third
Montreal captain Saku Koivu did not play because of a broken bone in his left foot that sidelined him for the final four games of the season.
The East champions' blue line got a boost from the return of Mike Komisarek. The team's leader in hits and blocked shots, Komisarek missed the last seven games of the season because of a hip injury.
The Canadiens got off to a fast start, taking a 2-0 lead to the delight of the soldout Bell Centre crowd of 21,273.
Sergei Kostitsyn beat Thomas off an unfortunate rebound for the Bruins' goalie. Montreal defenseman Patrice Brisebois' shot from the right point struck Boston defenseman Aaron Ward's leg and Thomas made a pad save on the redirection but was unable to stop the younger Kostitsyn's shot off the rebound.
Kostitsyn's older brother, Andre, also got his first playoff goal quickly in his postseason debut. Linemate Tomas Plekanec set up the goal with a fine centering pass from the right side to Andre Kostitsyn, who beat Thomas with a shot from the slot.
The Canadiens came close to making it a three-goal lead on their first power play opportunity moments later, though it was Boston that struck next despite being outshot 8-1 in the early going.
Hnidy drew the Bruins within 2-1 at 8:34 on Boston's second shot when he redirected Andrew Ference's drive from the left point between Price's legs for his first third career playoff goal.
Notes: Bruins C Marc Savard returned after missing the final seven games of the season because of a back injury. ... Smolinski scored 11 playoff goals with the Bruins. He also had three with Los Angeles, six with Ottawa, and two last season with Vancouver. ... Kostopoulos was one of six Canadiens making their first playoff appearance, along with Price, the Kostitsyn brothers, Fs Maxim Lapierre and Guillaume Latendresse.
This program aired on April 11, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.
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