After waiting 20 years to meet in the playoffs, the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks provided an overtime thriller in the opening tussle for Southern California supremacy.
Marian Gaborik scored with seven seconds left in regulation to force overtime, then scored 12:07 into the extra period to lift the Kings to a 3-2 victory Saturday night.
Wresting home-ice advantage from the Ducks comes after the Kings staged a memorable comeback against the Sharks, becoming the fourth NHL team to win a best-of-seven series after losing the first three games.
"It was awesome. Really, it was what you expect," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "It was a physical game. I think the crowd really responded to that."
Gaborik redirected Anze Kopitar's shot past Jonas Hiller for the winner before being mobbed in the corner by his teammates.
Gaborik "is a big reason that we won the first round, and if he hadn't finished some of those opportunities it would have only gone six," Sutter said. "If you look at both those goals, those are classic goals. You got to go to the net to score in the playoffs."
Bruins 5, Canadiens 3: Reilly Smith scored the go-ahead goal with 3:32 left, and Boston scored four times in eight minutes to beat Montreal and even the Eastern Conference semifinals at one game apiece.
"It was a fun last part of the third period," said Torey Krug, who set up Smith's goal. "We're very excited with how things turned out, but we've got to move along from it pretty soon."
Games 3 and 4 are Tuesday and Thursday in Montreal, where in 2011 Boston won twice in its first-round series after losing the first two at home.
The Bruins won the series in seven games and went on to win their first Stanley Cup title in 39 years.
The Bruins trailed 3-1 with just over nine minutes remaining before Dougie Hamilton scored, then Patrice Bergeron tied it with 5:43 remaining. Reilly then wristed a cross-ice pass from Krug past Carey Price to give Boston the lead.
Milan Lucic added an empty-net goal with 66 seconds left.
Blackhawks: Center Andrew Shaw is questionable for Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals against Minnesota on Sunday because of a lower body injury. Shaw was injured in Friday's series-opening win; it was not clear when he was hurt.