Habs put a Price on Bruins to take series opener

BOSTON (Reuters) - Montreal goaltender Carey Price was in spectacular form in earning his third career NHL playoff shutout as the Canadiens beat the Boston Bruins 2-0 on Thursday.

Price turned aside 31 shots while Brian Gionta scored both goals at Boston's TD Garden to give the Habs the early advantage in their best-of-seven series.

"If you were going to write it down on paper how you wanted to play, that is exactly the road game you would want," Price told reporters.

Both Gionta's goals came on assists from Scott Gomez, who made the Bruins pay for a pair of turnovers.

Gionta's first came just 2:45 into the game after Gomez gathered up a turnover from Tomas Kaberle in the Bruins zone.

He quickly sent a pass to Gionta on the far post instead of Mathieu Darche, who was directly in front of the Boston goal.

"I didn't know there was a guy at the back door," Boston goalie Tim Thomas said. "I was playing the guy in front and it looked like he was the one who was going to pick it off."

The second came when Gomez stole the puck from Milan Lucic at the Bruins blueline and set up Gionta with just 3:18 left in the third period.

Price had to be at his best as the Bruins chased the game, particularly in the second period where Boston outshot Montreal 18-6. The host outshot the Habs 31-20 in the game.

"If you're going to score goals on that goaltender, you need to take away his vision and we didn't do a good enough job of that," Boston coach Claude Julien said.

"We were all around the net, but we weren't in front. You know, that's something that has to get better."

Game Two is in Boston on Saturday.

In other action, the Buffalo Sabres grabbed the opening game of their series with the Philadelphia Flyers as Ryan Miller made 35 saves in a 1-0 shutout.

In the late game, the San Jose Sharks edged the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 in overtime on a goal by Joe Pavelski.

(Reporting by Mike Mouat in Windsor, Ontario; Editing by John O'Brien)