Pavel Datsyuk scored at 16:59 of the third period, moments after Jimmy Howard's best save of the game, and the visiting Detroit Red Wings beat the top-seeded Boston Bruins,1-0, in the opener of their Eastern Conference playoff series Friday night.
The Bruins won the Presidents' Trophy for the best record in the regular season but were locked in a tight game in which neither team had many solid scoring opportunities. The winning goal came when Datsyuk carried the puck from the right side to the left in Boston's zone and put a 30-footer from near the left circle past goalie Tuukka Rask's left glove.
Right before Datsyuk's 37th career playoff goal, Howard made a brilliant save when Jarome Iginla's shot from the right point was deflected by Milan Lucic in front of the net. But Howard knocked the puck aside with his glove.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series, the first playoff matchup between the Original Six teams in 57 years, is set for Sunday night in Boston.
The opening loss was the Bruins' first playoff game since they dropped the deciding Game 6 of last season's Stanley Cup final to Chicago.
Datsyuk, who missed 16 games with a knee injury before returning April 4, got his first playoff goal since Game 3 of Detroit's second-round playoff series against Chicago last year. The Red Wings had a 3-1 lead in that series against the Blackhawks, and then lost three in a row.
Montreal 2, at Tampa Bay 1: Rene Bourque had two goals and David Desharnais and Brendan Gallagher also scored, helping the Canadiens take a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.
Carey Price stopped 26 shots for Montreal, redeeming himself following a less-than-stellar performance during a 5-4 overtime win in Game 1.
Bourque and Desharnais scored in the second period after defensive breakdowns left Tampa Bay goaltender Anders Lindback in tough situations. Gallagher made it 3-0 with an unassisted goal in the third period.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times