Rene Bourque and David Desharnais each scored twice to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 6-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday afternoon at the Bell Centre.
Carey Price made 30 saves for the Canadiens for his fifth win of the season. Lars Eller added a goal and two assists while rookie Brendan Gallagher also scored.
Ryan Miller made 17 saves over two periods before being replaced in the third by backup Jhonas Enroth.
Bourque injected some life into what had been an uneventful first period with Montreal's 10th power-play goal of the season. Andrei Markov’s stretch pass — tipped along the way by Tomas Plekanec — found Brian Gionta along the right boards. Gionta waited before passing it on to Bourque, who drove to the net for his second of the season.
Montreal took a 2-0 lead for the fifth time in its seven games early in the second. Gallagher and fellow rookie Alex Galchenyuk completed a nifty 2-on-1 that Gallagher capped with his third of the season as the puck went in off Sabres defenceman Christian Ehrhoff at 2:03.
Desharnais, who has struggled this season, finally got his first at 10:08. Just seconds after Sabres forward Tyler Ennis hit the crossbar, the diminutive Canadiens centre took a pass from Eller in the high slot and fired a shot past Miller.
Eller added to Buffalo's misery with his first goal of the season just 28 seconds later.
Plekanec set up Bourque's second goal of the game at 1:22 of the third. The Czech centre showed patience on a 2-on-1, waiting out Buffalo defenceman Mike Weber’s attempt to block the pass before easily placing it on Bourque’s stick.
Thomas Vanek broke Price's shutout bid with a short-handed goal at 3:01.
Desharnais picked up his second of the season on the player play at 12:43. Defenceman P.K. Subban, making his season debut after signing a new contract Monday, earned an assist.
NOTES: Defenceman Yannick Weber and forward Ryan White were scratches for the Canadiens, who went with 11 forwards and seven defencemen . . . Buffalo's one shot in the first was its fewest in a regulation period since Oct. 7, 2011 versus Anaheim when the Sabres had none in the third . . . Montreal last allowed one shot in a period Oct. 13, 2011 versus Calgary.