Duncan Keith scored at 7:49 of double overtime, and the Chicago Blackhawks rallied from a three-goal deficit after the first period in beating the Nashville Predators 4-3 Wednesday night in Nashville.
The Blackhawks finished only two points back of Nashville in the Central Division, and they grabbed home-ice advantage back despite benching Corey Crawford after the first period. Scott Darling stopped every subsequent shot, making 42 saves in his postseason debut as Nashville took a franchise-record 54 shots.
Jonathan Toews had a goal and an assist, and Niklas Hjalmarsson, Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews each scored for Chicago. Patrick Kane also had two assists in his return after missing 21 games because of a broken collarbone.
Colin Wilson scored twice and Viktor Stalberg had a goal, all in the first period for the Predators.
Game 2 is Friday night in Nashville.
Both teams looked ready for the postseason, though the Blackhawks didn't get going until the second period.
The Predators got a nice boost from a crowd filled with Nashville fans after the team limited early ticket sales to this game to local stores and the box office. That kept the inside of the arena painted gold, with very few of the Blackhawks faithful who usually take advantage of the short flight from Chicago on hand.
Nashville forced Crawford out with three goals on 12 shots in the first period.
Calgary 2, Vancouver 1: Defenseman Kris Russell scored with just less than 30 seconds remaining in the third period, lifting the Flames to a 2-1 victory over the Canucks in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series in Vancouver, British Columbia.
David Jones also scored for the Flames, who were down 1-0 entering the third period.
Russell's shot from the point found its way through traffic after a dominant shift by the Flames that had the Canucks hemmed in deep.
Eddie Lack made 28 saves and Bo Horvat scored for Vancouver, which is back in the postseason after missing out last spring for the first time in six years.
N.Y. Islanders 4, Washington 1: Ryan Strome is 21 years old, Brock Nelson is 23, and Josh Bailey is 25. Entering Wednesday night, the trio of Islanders forwards owned these combined career NHL playoff numbers: seven games, zero goals.
So much for the supposed importance of postseason experience.
Nelson scored twice, Strome and Bailey added a goal apiece, Jaroslav Halak made 24 saves against a familiar foe, and the Islanders beat Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals in Game1 of their first-round series in Washington.
"I liked their composure, the way they held their emotions in check, and they came up big for us tonight," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said of the youngsters. "They skated. And, you know, they played with confidence and poise. And they've done that all year."
Montreal 4, Ottawa 3: Lots of scoring and wild action took a back seat to a slash that could lead to a suspension for Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban.
Brian Flynn's goal was the winner at the end of a wild second period that saw five goals scored and Subban ejected for slashing as the Canadiens downed the Senators in Montreal.
Montreal takes a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series into Game 2 on Friday night. It might not have Subban for that game.
"I agree it was a slashing penalty, but I don't agree that it deserved five minutes," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said.
The game broke open when the Canadiens scored twice in a 15-second span of the second frame, the fastest two playoff goals by Montreal since 1998, with Torrey Mitchell and Tomas Plekanec scoring.
But six seconds later, Lars Eller went off for slashing. Seven seconds after that, Subban took a chop at Mark Stone's hands and the Senators' scoring leader went down in pain, then rushed off for treatment. Subban was slapped with a five-minute major and game misconduct.
"I think it's quite simple — it's a vicious slash on an unprotected part of the body," Senators coach Dave Cameron said.