Guy Lafleur scored the key goal at 15:03 of the second period last night and Montreal held off a late surge by visiting Quebec.
Montreal, trying to avenge last year's early elimination from the playoffs by the Nordiques, dominated in the first period, outshooting Quebec, 9-4, on their way to a 2-0 lead.
Left winger Steve Shutt notched his first goal of the year at 6:56 when his shot from the top of the face-off circle hit the post and bounced in off goalie Daniel Bouchard. Less than three minutes later, Bob Gainey skated around Quebec defenseman Dave Pichette and sent a low shot into the left side.
Quebec carried the play to the Canadiens early in the second period but Montreal goalie Rick Wamsley made stunning saves on centers Peter Stastny and Dale Hunter.
Lafleur scored the only goal of the period when he slapped a sharply angled shot off Bouchard's glove hand and into the net.
The Nordiques mounted a comeback in the final period, reducing Montreal's lead to 3-2. Rookie defenseman Randy Moller got Quebec on the scoreboard at 1:15 with a high wrist shot from the blue line and Pichette knocked a loose puck in from the goal crease at 5:00.
Mark Hunter scored an insurance goal for Montreal from the slot area at 17:16.