Playoff hockey returned to Montreal in the first period of Monday night's game between Boston and Montreal.
It may be the only time they see playoff hockey in Montreal this season, so it's sort of a shame that it came in November and not April.
A frenetic pace marked the opening 15 minutes as the Bruins tried to establish a forecheck but Montreal countered with a strong backcheck and cycle, spending a lot of time in the Boston zone, firing shots at Tim Thomas.
But like Carey Price, his adversary at the other end of the ice, Thomas was up to the challenge.
Up to the challenge, anyway, until Andrew Ference found the back of the net to give the Bruins an advantage on a delayed penalty.
Just a few shifts into his game, Joe Corvo took a hit along the boards and struggled to get back to the bench, looking clearly affected by whatever it was that hampered him. The injuy didn't nag him for long, however, as he was back in the game for his next shift.
The Bruins wasted an early power play when PK Subban went for roughing Brad Marchand, but it was a high-energy, mistake-laden first ten minutes for Boston, who looked like they were a little too concerned with extending that eight-game win streak by getting off to a desperate start. The frenetic pace really had the Black and Gold reeling as they left Tim Thomas out to dry a couple times early on, but Montreal didn't have the net-front presence to bury pucks when Thomas was down.
It was with just about four minutes to go and the Bruins about to go on their second man-advantage of the night that Rich Peverley got into the attacking zone, dangled around a couple Montreal defensemen and created space in the slot for Andrew Ference, who one-timed a seeing-eye pass from Peverley over Price's glove to give the Bruins the advantage.