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Raycroft, Bruins blank Habs in Game 1

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Boston, MA (Sports Network) - made 31 saves for a shutout in his first ever postseason game, as the Boston beat the Montreal , 3-0, in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. Late-season additions and scored for the second-seeded , who picked up their fourth win against the this season (4-2-1). Gonchar and Nylander, both acquired from the Washington in March, assisted on each other's goals.

"It was a team effort tonight," Gonchar said. "I'm not going to say it was just the two of us who won this game, but it helps."

Boston also got back for the game after he had missed the last two regular season contests with an upper body injury. Thornton had two penalty minutes and finished without a shot.

"I was kind of fighting with the trainers and coaches to let me play," Thornton said. "But I'm glad I was in there to be part of the win tonight."

added a goal for the , and had two assists.

The have won 22 of the previous 29 postseason series these teams have played, but the have a leg up with Game 2 set for Friday in Boston.

If that contest is anything like this one, is in for another test. Theodore was peppered with 39 shots in net for the seventh-seeded , who were unable to score despite five power play opportunities.

The jumped out to a 1-0 lead in front of their FleetCenter faithful when Nylander and Gonchar hooked up for a power play goal just 5:12 into the game.

Nylander set his former teammate up with a drop pass at the point, where Gonchar retrieved the puck before beating Theodore stick-side with a wrister for his first postseason goal since 2001.

The pair combined for another goal with just 59 seconds remaining in the first period, with Nylander scoring on a backhand re-direct of Gonchar's point shot.

It was one of 23 shots the fired at Theodore in the first, and the third by Nylander. Raycroft stopped all nine shots he faced in the stanza, and helped kill off two Montreal power plays to preserve the lead.

"That might have been not only the best first period we've played all year, that might have been the best period we played all year," Boston head coach Mike Sullivan said. "I thought we came out with a lot of energy and made good decisions with the puck and I thought we played a real hard, smart period."

Raycroft was perfect in the second as well, turning aside eight shots as the continued to pepper Theodore with 11 more shots -- eventually beating him again on a power play with less than two minutes remaining in the period.

Knuble tallied his first career playoff goal on a tip-in from the goal mouth to make it 3-0 with just 1:36 to play. He nearly scored moments earlier when his sharp-angle shot through Theodore's legs skirted the goal line, but officials ruled against it.

Montreal defenseman took a bad roughing penalty after that, and Knuble found himself in the right place on 's tight shot from the end line -- the same spot from where Knuble nearly scored moments earlier.

"Our thinking caps didn't seem to be on as well as they should have," Montreal coach Claude Julien said.

Raycroft then made the lead stand with 14 saves in the third period, as the earned their first Game 1 postseason win since 1999 against Buffalo.

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