Montreal and Boston renewed acquaintnces last night in game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quaterfinals, but very little changed with regards to the outcome.
The Habs dominated the play from the get go, outshooting, outchancing and outhitting Boston en route to a 4-1 win to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
The win extends Montreal's winning streak over Boston this season to 9 straight games.
Montreal wound up with 32 shots on goal while limiting Boston to just 18.
A hint of things to come came very early as Sergei Kostitsyn scored on his 1st career NHL playoff shot just 34 seconds into the first, sliding a rebound through a fallen Thomas' pads.
With Sergei on the board, older brother Andrei felt that it was an "anything you can do, I can do better" type of event, and he took it upon himself to get on the board as well. Andrei tallied just 1:28 after Sergei's goal, taking a perfect cross-ice feed from linemate Tomas Plekanec and re-directing/shooting through Thomas' pads once again.
''I told (Andrei) before the game that I would score on the first shift,'' a beaming Sergei Kostitsyn said. ''It felt great.
''Andrei scored, I scored. I'm happy for us both. I'm happy to help the team.''
Shane Hnidy would get one back for Boston before the midway mark of the first, deflecting an Andrew Ference slapper past Price.
The second period was highlited by an increase in physical play, which included the hit of the game as Hamrlik wallpapered young Bruins forward Milan Lucic.
Brian Smolinski would eventually add to the Habs lead with his 1st playoff goal as a Hab and 23rd of his career, backhanding home a loose rebound from between the hash-marks by Thomas' glove side.
Tom Kostopoulos capped the scoring in the third, converting a nifty feed from Maxm Lapierre, as the latter sent a one-touch pass from beneathe the goal-line out front for an unmarked and awaiting TK to one-time a wrister once again through Thomas' pads.
Carey Price's biggest test of the evening came with under 2 minutes remaining in the third, as he turned aside a breakaway bid from Bruins forward Marco Sturm. Price made 17 saves in his first playoff game and first win.
Bruins stars Tim Thomas and Marc Savard were also seeing their first career tastes of playoff hockey.
The only multipoint game belonged to checker Tom Kostopoulos, helping on Smolinski's goal and adding the 4-1 goal himself.
Montreal went 0-for-5 ont he powerplay, while Boston was 0-for-3.
Game 2 goes Saturday night in Montreal (and I'll be there!) at 7 pm.