MONTREAL — Tanner Glass scored in the first period and Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves to help the New York Rangers beat the Montreal Canadiens 2-0 on Wednesday night in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Friday night at Bell Centre.
Michael Grabner added an empty-net goal with 1:10 left to play.
Montreal outshot New York 16-5 in the first period, but couldn’t beat Lundqvist.
The Canadiens are looking to a avenge a six-game loss in the first round to New York in 2014, a series in which Carey Price was injured in the opening game on a hit from Chris Kreider. This time, Kreider pulled up when barreling toward Price in the first period.
Fired up by 1960s pop star Ginette Reno’s national anthem, the Canadiens were all over New York in the opening period, but it was the Rangers who struck first 9:50 on only their third shot.
Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec won a draw in his own zone, but fourth-line winger Glass pounced on it and lifted a backhand from the slot over Price’s shoulder.
PENGUINS 3, BLUE JACKETS 1: Marc-Andre Fleury started when Matt Murray tweaked something during pregame warmups and made 31 saves as Pittsburgh opened the playoffs with a win at home.
Phil Kessel, Nick Bonino and Bryan Rust scored in the second, with Evgeni Malkin assisting on Rust and Kessel’s goals in his first game back after missing the final three weeks of the regular season with an upper-body injury.