MONTREAL – Brothers Sergei and Andrei Kostitsyn scored in the opening 2:02 of their first career playoff games and the Montreal Canadiens continued their mastery of the Boston Bruins with a series-opening 4-1 victory on Thursday night.
Montreal leads the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final 1-0 with Game 2 set for Saturday at the Bell Centre.
Tom Kostopoulos, who also had an assist in his first playoff game, and Bryan Smolinski had the other goals for top-seeded Montreal, which beat eighth-seeded Boston in all eight of their regular season meetings and has a 12-game winning run against the Bruins dating to last season.
Shane Hnidy scored for Boston, which was outshot 32-18.
The Bruins looked nervous from the opening faceoff and, after a Boston turnover, Sergei Kostitsyn went to the net to bang Patrice Brisebois’s rebound past Tim Thomas only 34 seconds into the game.
The towel-waving crowd of 21,273 barely had time to sit down from their thunderous cheering when Tomas Plekanec sent a cross-ice pass from the right boards that Andrei Kostitsyn blasted in from the left circle at 2:02.
The last brothers to score for Montreal in a playoff game were Frank and Peter Mahovlich on April 14, 1974 against the Rangers in New York.
The Bruins got back in the game as Hnidy went to the net to tip an Andrew Ference pass between Carey Price’s pads at 8:34.
But they seemed to come unglued after some hustle from Montreal’s checking line saw Smolinski get the puck alone in front and score on a backhand shot.
And the chances of winning the third period to snatch momentum back were dashed when Montreal took eight of the first 10 shots and got a goal as Kostopoulos scored when falling to his knees to swipe a Maxim Lapierre shot past Thomas at 7:24.
With 3:50 left to play, Zdeno Chara and Marco Sturm were sent off for stick-fouls on the same play but Boston kept Montreal from scoring on the two-man advantage.
The game had its physical moments, including a hard hit from behind by Andrei Kostitsyn on Chara, who logged huge ice-time, that went uncalled in the second period and a thundering hit on big Milan Lucic by Roman Hamrlik.
Boston defenceman Aaron Ward was shaken up when hit in the midsection by an Andrei Kostitsyn shot in the second frame, but shook it off and stayed in the game.
Notes: Canadiens captain Saku Koivu (foot) and defenceman Francis Bouillon (ankle) were not ready to return as well as Boston star Patrice Bergeron (concussion) and Chuck Kobasew (shin). Bruins forwards Marc Savard (back) and Glen Metropolit (foot) were in the lineup.. . With Mike Komisarek’s return, rookie defenceman Ryan O’Byrne was scratched along with Mikhail Grabovski and Greg Stewart.. . With seven healthy defencemen, Boston opted to scratch Andrew Alberts along with Vladimir Sobotka.