BOSTON - Carey Price returned as Montreal's starting playoff goalie with his third post-season shutout, Brian Gionta scored twice and the Canadiens opened the series with a 2-0 win over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.
Price started one of the Canadiens 19 playoff games last year when they reached the Eastern Conference finals. Jaroslav Halak started the others but was traded to the St. Louis Blues in June.
This season Price started 70 games and on Thursday he turned aside 31 shots.
Gionta scored at 2:44 of the first period on a pass from Scott Gomez from the left boards. Gionta and Matthew Darche both got behind the Bruins defence with Darche directly in front of goalie Tim Thomas and Gionta on the right side of the crease. Darche let the puck go by and Gionta put it in between Thomas' left side and the post.
The game was played cleanly without any fights between the teams that had several physical confrontations during the regular season.
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Ryan Miller stopped 35 shots for his second career post-season shutout and Patrick Kaleta scored to lift the Buffalo Sabres to a 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference playoff series.
Miller stopped every shot under all types of pressure and carried the Sabres to the clutch opening win. The teams have met eight times in the post-season and the Game 1 winner won the series each time.
Kaleta snapped the scoreless tie early in the third period when he powered a rebound past rookie Sergei Bobrovsky.
No team was more resilient in last year's playoffs than the Flyers. They trailed Boston 3-0 in the East semifinals before taking the series and playing until a Game 6 loss to Chicago in the Stanley Cup finals.
Game 2 is Saturday in Philadelphia.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP)—Joe Pavelski scored 14:44 into overtime to give the San Jose Sharks a victory over the Kings in Game 1 of their all-California opening round playoff series.
Pavelski took a pass from Kyle Wellwood as the trailer on a three-on-two advantage and fired a forehand past Jonathan Quick for his third career playoff overtime goal.
Dany Heatley and Logan Couture also scored for the Sharks, who had lost five of their previous six series openers. Antti Niemi made 33 saves.
Dustin Brown and Justin Williams scored for the Kings, who have won just one playoff series since going to the Stanley Cup final with Wayne Gretzky in 1993. Quick made 42 saves.