EDMONTON -- Peter Budaj made 27 saves to win his first start of the season as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 on Thursday night.
Budaj got the start one night after the Canadiens lost 3-2 to the Calgary Flames with Carey Price in goal and allowed only a second-period goal to Ryan Smyth.
Brendan Gallagher, Brandon Prust, Alex Galchenyuk and Max Pacioretty scored for the Canadiens, now 2-2-0 for the season and 1-1-0 on a four-game trip through Western Canada that continues against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.
Devan Dubnyk stopped 23 shots for the Oilers (1-3-0), who begin a six-game Eastern trip by visiting the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.
Smyth opened the scoring at 2:28 of the second period. He was on his stomach when he redirected Taylor Hall's centering pass behind Budaj. Smyth, who was a healthy scratch in Monday night's 5-4 shootout win against the New Jersey Devils, took a cross check from Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban but still managed to get a stick on Hall's pass.
Gallagher tied the game at 9:24 by converting a cross-crease feed from Galchenyuk for a power-play goal. The Canadiens capitalized after defenseman Andrew Ference broke his stick on a clearing attempt. Galchenyuk was able to control the puck and slid it past Ference to Gallagher at the side of the net for his third goal of the season.
Prust put the Canadiens up at 12:05 by knocking a loose puck past Dubnyk. Subban kept the play alive by eluding a pair of Oilers and getting a shot toward the front of the net. The puck was kicked away by Dubnyk, but Prust was left alone to tap in his first of the season.
Galchenyuk made it 3-1 at 12:15 of the third when he took a pass from Gallagher on a 2-on-1 rush and buried it for his first of the season. Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins pulled Dubnyk with more than four minutes remaining, but the Oilers were unable to beat Budaj before Pacioretty hit the empty net with 17.1 seconds remaining.