MONTREAL - Alex Tanguay scored the lone goal in shootout to give the Montreal Canadiens a 4-3 win in their home opener Wednesday night after they allowed the Boston Bruins to come back from a three-goal deficit.
Alex Kovalev, Saku Koivu and Maxim Lapierre scored in a span of just over three minutes in the first period for the Canadiens (3-0-1), who registered their 12th straight regular season victory over their Original Six rivals.
Marc Savard scored twice, including the equalizer with 47 seconds left in regulation, and David Krejci added a goal and an assist for the Bruins (1-1-1).
Tanguay was the second shooter for the Canadiens and beat Tim Thomas with a wrist shot high on the glove side.
Canadiens goalie Carey Price, who made 31 saves in regulation and overtime, stopped former teammate Michael Ryder with a pad save on the final shot to secure the win for Montreal.
The Canadiens held a half-hour ceremony prior to the game to inaugurate the new Ring of Honour, which commemorates the franchise's 54 Hall of Fame players and builders.
Newly acquired enforcer Georges Laraque made his Canadiens debut after missing the first three games and the entire pre-season with a groin injury. He received one of the louder ovations during the pre-game player introductions and didn't take long to give the fans what they wanted to see. Laraque stepped onto the ice for his first shift early in the first period and, before he could even take a stride, dropped the gloves with Shawn Thornton for a spirited tilt near the Habs bench.
Thomas made 25 saves for the Bruins and played a solid game - aside from that short stretch in the first - after giving up an average of over four goals in six starts against the Canadiens last season.
With Montreal ahead 3-1 in the third, Savard scored his team-leading fourth and fifth goals of the year to force overtime.
A bad bounce off the end boards eluded Price as he went behind the net to play the puck, leaving Savard open in front of the net at 19:12 of the third.
He made it 3-2 at 7:12 of the third just as a 44-second two-man advantage was ending, snapping home a rebound off a Zdeno Chara shot into an open side.
The Canadiens got on the board late in the first after Andrei Kostitsyn drew a retaliation cross-checking penalty on Bruins defenceman Denis Wideman deep in the Boston end for Montreal's first power play of the game.
The Canadiens converted only 16 seconds later, with Kovalev tucking the puck in the short side after a give-and-go with Tomas Plekanec for his first of the season at 15:06.
Koivu made it 2-0 with his first of the year 1:32 later, banging home a rebound off a Guillaume Latendresse sharp angle shot at 16:38.
The Canadiens struck shorthanded fewer than two minutes later when Lapierre outworked Patrice Bergeron for a puck in the Bruins end then converted a feed from Mathieu Dandenault for his first of the season at 18:25 to give Montreal a 3-0 lead.
Krejci got the Bruins to within two goals at 7:15 of the second when he intercepted a weak Canadiens clearing attempt up the middle and one-timed home his second of the season just after Roman Hamrlik came out of the penalty box.
Notes: Injured Canadiens Chris Higgins (groin) and Francis Bouillon (knee) have yet to dress for a game this season. Centre Kyle Chipchura was a healthy scratch for a fourth straight game. ...Bruins defenceman Shane Hnidy was scratched as Matt Hunwick made his season debut. Centre Petteri Nokelainen also didn't dress for the Bruins and was replaced by recent call-up Vladimir Sobotka.