World ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada were first after the short program at the Four Continents event in Osaka, Japan, on Friday.
Virtue and Moir received 75.12 points to finish ahead of world silver medallists Meryl Davis and Charlie White who had 74.68 points.
Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the United States were third with 65.44 points.
Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada placed first in the pairs short program with 70.44 points, while compatriots Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch were second with 66.33 points. Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, the U.S. champions, were third with 53.06 points.
World bronze medallist Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan was first after the men's short program, upstaging compatriot and Osaka native Daisuke Takahashi.
Hanyu opened with a quad toe loop and completed a flawless triple axel for a score of 87.65 points on Friday.
His only mistake came when he stepped out of a triple lutz-triple toe loop combination on his final jump.
Han Yan of China was second with 85.08 points while Richard Dornbush of the U.S. was third with 83.01.
Takahashi botched his opening quad and fell on his triple axel and finished fourth with 82.62.
The men's event wraps up on Saturday with the free skate.
Two-time world champ Mao Asada of Japan is looking to regain the title she lost at last year's Four Continents to Ashley Wagner of the United States when the women's event begins Saturday.
The Four Continents is the last major competition before the world championships in London, Ont., next month.