MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens were raring to go when they faced the Buffalo Sabres. Even so, it took them nearly one full period to break through against Ryan Miller, who couldn't hold them off on his own.
Rene Bourque and David Desharnais scored twice and Lars Eller had a goal and two assists to lead the Canadiens to a 6-1 victory over the Sabres on Saturday.
Rookie Brendan Gallagher launched a three-goal Montreal outburst in the second period. Desharnais and Lars Eller scored 28 seconds apart midway through the middle period to put the Canadiens up, 4-0.
Bourque scored a power-play goal late in the first against Miller. He made it 5-0 with his second of the game on the first shot Jhonas Enroth faced 1:22 into the third.
"I think from the start, from the get-go, from the drop of the puck, we had a full team on board," Bourque said. "What did they have, one shot in the first period?
"So, everybody chipped in and we had a lot of opportunities. Miller played great in the first and we got that late one and started going from there."
Carey Price made 30 saves for Montreal, which lost, 5-1, in Ottawa on Wednesday. The Canadiens, who improved to 5-2, host the Senators on Sunday.
Miller stopped 17 shots in two periods, including the first 14 he faced in the first. Enroth started the third for the Sabres and made nine saves the rest of the way.
The Canadiens outshot Buffalo, 15-1, in the first period, but only took a 1-0 lead out of the period on their final shot.
Bourque drove to the net with his stick on the ice to direct Brian Gionta's centering pass in past Miller with eight seconds left.
"If Ryan doesn't play the way he did in the first, this game could have really gotten out of hand," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "It was out of hand as it was; it could have really been out of hand."
Marcus Foligno scored shorthanded for the Sabres' only goal 3:01 into the third period.
P.K. Subban assisted on Desharnais' second goal of the game in his season debut after missing Montreal's first six games.
Subban, who was a restricted free agent, signed a two-year, $5.75-million contract on Monday. He drove a shot off the left post on a 4-on-3 rush earlier in the third.
"I didn't feel too great, but I thought our team played extremely well," Subban said. "We had a good start and when you're playing your first game out there, and the team has a great start it's sort of a relief and it's easier to handle the puck and do all that stuff.
"I'm just happy with the win here today."
Gallagher made it a 2-0 lead 2:03 into the second when he was credited with his third goal in six games. The 20-year-old right wing's return pass toward 18-year-old Alex Galchenyuk was directed into the net by the stick of Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff.
Eller drew an assist on Desharnais' first goal of the season at 10:08, a drive past Miller from the top of the left faceoff circle. Eller got his first goal at 10:36 when he cut to the net to put a shot through Miller and make it 4-0.
Eller got his second assist and third point on Desharnais' power-play goal 12:43 into the third.
"I think it comes down to skating," Sabres captain Jason Pominville said. "There's not a big difference in the league. When you get outworked the way we did tonight you're not going to win many games."
NOTES: Buffalo placed defenseman Robyn Regehr on the injured reserve list on Saturday. ... Center Cody McCormick made his season debut after missing the Sabres' first seven games because of a finger injury. Forward Nathan Gerbe was left out of the lineup. ... Buffalo's Andrej Sekera crawled to the bench after he was struck by Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin's slap shot just under a minute into the first period. Sekera hobbled off to the dressing room. The defenseman returned before the midway point and played four more shifts in the opening period. He did not return for the second. ... Canadiens coach Michel Therrien opted to go with seven defensemen with Subban returning to the lineup. Right wing Ryan White and defenseman Yannick Weber did not dress for Montreal.