VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Montreal center Lars Eller was credited with the winning goal without touching the puck and goaltender Carey Price was the homecoming hero as the Canadiens posted a 4-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.
With no Canadiens players in the vicinity, Vancouver defenseman Dan Hamhuis misplayed a breakout pass, banking the puck off goaltender Roberto Luongo into his own net with three minutes left in the second period, putting Montreal up 2-1.
"It's just an incredibly lucky bounce. It's probably never going to happen again," Eller said.
From that point forward, it was all Habs.
Price, a Vancouver native, stopped a barrage early on as the Canadians were outshot 31-20 through the first two periods.
"We knew that team was going to come out hard," Price said. :We got lucky along the way and I thought in the third period we shut them down."
Montreal coach Michel Therrien agreed.
"The more the game went on, the more we were able to play our style of hockey, and the third period was a solid one and we controlled the puck well," he said.
"Certainly it was extra motivation for (Price) to come and play here in this building in front of his family and friends. But honestly, I really like the way (he) has played for us since the beginning of the year."
Price stopped all but one of the 40 shots he faced.
Vancouver coach John Tortorella was pleased with his team through two periods.
"We didn't play a good third period," he said. "Whether it was a result of that (goal), I don't know. Up until that point, I thought we played a really good hockey game.
"It's tough. The way (Price) was playing, he played really well. For us to battle back and finally get one, on a power play right in the second period, it's a tough one to eat. It happens. But you have to be resilient enough to handle those type of situations."
The Canadiens are now 5-0-1 in their last six games against Vancouver and Luongo is 2-6-0 in his last eight meetings with the team from his hometown.
After starting the season killing 18 straight penalties, Vancouver surrendered two power play goals. Montreal left winger Max Pacioretty and center Tomas Plekanec netted the goals in the first and third periods, respectively.
Montreal's power play went 2-for-3 in the game.
The Canucks started well, outshooting the Canadiens 14-9 after the first period, but trailed 1-0 after a Pacioretty power-play goal at 5:43.
Henrik Sedin tied the score at 13:12 of the second period, three minutes before Hamhuis made his gaffe to give the Canadiens a 2-1 advantage.
Plekanec and Josh Gorges added third-period goals to make it 4-1.
Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban contributed his fourth assist in the last two games after a three-assist night against Edmonton on Thursday. Montreal defenseman Raphael Diaz also had two assists.
The Canucks have lost two straight as they embark on a seven-game road trip beginning Tuesday in Philadelphia.
"We'll try to learn from this one and see if we can get better," Tortorella said. "We just need to stay about our business and keep on trying to get better as a team. We've got a lot of work to do in a lot of areas, and we need to approach it that way."
NOTES: Vancouver RW Zack Kassian returned to play his first game of the season after serving his eight-game suspension for high sticking Edmonton C Sam Gagner. ... Vancouver D Alex Edler served the first game of his three-game suspension for an illegal hit on Sharks C Tomas Hertl. ... Montreal RW Brendan Gallagher played in front of family and friends in the city where he grew up and played four years with the Vancouver Giants. ... Montreal captain Brian Gionta did not play in the game after he returned home for family reasons.