Rene Rancourt opened the festivities with a tremendous rendition of both national anthems. After the dust settled, the puck was dropped on the first Saturday night game of the season. Matt Beleskey would take a penalty 1:14 into the first period, letting the Canadiens powerplay go to work. It would take 11 seconds for the powerplay to break through, with Alex Galchenyuk connecting on a cross-ice pass to Andrei Markov down low, who then dished it off to David Desharnais alone in front of the net for his first goal of the season. That had to be the most efficient Montreal Canadiens powerplay in at least two years.
After killing a penalty of their own, the Canadiens would get another powerplay, but this time it did not yield much. The first 8 minutes of the first period was occupied by 6 minutes of special teams time. A few 5 v 5 minutes later and Torrey Mitchell and Adam McQuaid would be sent off leading to some exciting 4 v 4 hockey that ended in two spectacular Carey Price saves. The 1st period was played pretty evenly, with both teams registering 19 shot attempts each, although the Canadiens had the majority of the powerplay opportunities and lead in 5 on 5 play.