Maybe home ice is an advantage after all for the Montreal Canadiens.
A team that didn't do all that well at home during the regular season, the Canadiens beat Pittsburgh 3-1 Monday night in their first playoff game at the Molson Centre this year."It was the best game our team has played in a long time - regular season or playoffs," said Shayne Corson, who scored two goals as the Canadiens took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference series. "It was really a team effort."
The Canadiens only managed a 15-17-9 record at home during the season and had a losing record of 38-42-17 since moving from the Montreal Forum to the Molson Centre in 1996.
The Canadiens came out on top in the battle of special teams - holding the Penguins scoreless on six power-play opportunities while going 1-for-4 themselves with the man advantage. In addition, Montreal dominated in the faceoff department, winning 43 of 71.
"I think the bounces just went their way tonight," Pittsburgh's Stu Barnes said.
SABRES 6, FLYERS 1: At Buffalo, Miroslav Satan scored two goals and the Sabres scored four times in the second period to beat the Flyers after two tight games in their series.
Satan scored in each of the first two periods as the Sabres built a 5-0 lead and thoroughly outplayed the Flyers.
Game 3 was a dramatic difference from the first two games in Philadelphia, where each team won 3-2 decisions. Sabres goaltender Dominik Hasek overcame a shaky start and made 31 saves.
BLUES 4, KINGS 3: Terry Yake scored the go-ahead goal at 15:06 of the third period, capping a four-goal barrage during a five-minute power play, as visiting St. Louis beat Los Angeles.
Leading 3-0 after two periods, the Kings appeared to have their first win of the playoff series in hand when Sean O'Donnell was hit with a game misconduct.
O'Donnell was ejected at 8:44 for going after Geoff Courtnall, who had charged Kings rookie goaltender Jamie Storr. O'Donnell jumped on Courtnall and threw several punches. Courtnall skated away with a charging minor, which was offset by Ian Laperriere's boarding minor.
O'Donnell's penalty set up a five-minute power play for the Blues, who scored four straight goals by Pascal Rheaume, Brett Hull, Pierre Turgeon and Yake during a span of 3:07.