Highlights, lowlights from opening night of the NHL playoffs

Blue Jackets defenceman Ryan Murray sits bloodied on the Columbus bench. (Screen grab via...

Blue Jackets defenceman Ryan Murray sits bloodied on the Columbus bench. (Screen grab via @PeteBlackburn)

John Matisz, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:41 AM ET

Three one-goal games, including an overtime finish in the Sunshine State.

How good was playoff hockey's opening act?

The Penguins downed the Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-3, in Pittsburgh. Tied 3-3 heading into the third period, Brandon Sutter put the game to bed by potting the winner at 8:18.

The Montreal Canadiens took Game 1 on the road, 5-4. It was not an easy victory. The Lightning forced a fourth period before Dale Weise scored two minutes left in the first overtime.

The west coast game saw the Ducks bat away a resilient Dallas Stars team en route to a 4-3 home win. The visitors had a steep hill to climb -- the Stars were down 4-0 at the game's midway point -- and couldn't reach the top.

Aside from three tight, entertaining games, what made Wednesday a great hockey night were the individual moments of success and failure.

Both were well represented.

Here's a collection of highs and lows from opening night:

HIGHLIGHTS

Steven Stamkos did what Steven Stamkos does best. He scored a pretty goal to rally the troops.

The Lightning captain went coast-to-coast on the Canadiens, depositing a bad-angle shot into the back of the Montreal net to make it 2-1 Tampa. It was his first of two on the night.


Like many Blue Jackets players, defenceman Ryan Murray had his playoff debut Wednesday.

In 23:50 of ice time, the 2012 draft's second overall pick finished plus-1 with three shots and two blocked shots.

Oh, and a leaky faucet for a nose...

GIF: PLAYOFF HOCKEY! BLOOD!


Montreal winger Brendan Gallagher took an Alex Emelin wrist shot to the chops while jockeying for position near the hashmarks in the Lightning end.

Fortunately for Habs fans, Gallagher would be OK -- which is why this is considered a high and not a low -- as he returned to action.

If the GIF below is any indication, Gallagher's next few days will be filled with pain. In the face.

LOWLIGHTS

The guy in the blue sweater had the wrong idea here.

Instead of taking interest in the scrum unfolding a couple feet away -- like the Canadiens fan in the row behind him is doing -- he decided to take a selfie.

Not sure how the oddly-timed selfie turned out (hey, maybe it's great?), but it sure looked silly to everybody watching from home.

GIF: Lightning fan on the glass uses scrum as an excuse to take a selfie (h/t @AGretz)


Colby Armstrong, a former NHLer watching from afar, offered his two cents on the play below, which, some may argue, deserved a minor penalty or penalty shot.

GIF: No penalty call on this Sutter breakaway chance


Ducks leader Ryan Getzlaf absorbed a slap shot to the face with 17 seconds remaining in the third period.

It was ugly. That puck came in very fast AND very high.

Although he went off in considerable pain, it sounds like the Canadian Olympian will be alright.

SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN

There was one sequence from opening night that was a definitely a highlight to some but also a lowlight to others.

That, of course, would be Weise's overtime goal.

The split-screen reactions from the competing general managers -- Marc Bergevin (left, Montreal) and Steve Yzerman (right, Tampa) -- were priceless.

Jeff Goldblum...I mean, the Habs GM celebrates the OT goal


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