BUFFALO - The Canadiens posted a 3-1 win over the Sabres at the KeyBank Center.
The club welcomed Brendan Gallagher back to the lineup on Thursday night.
After missing the previous six games with headaches, Gallagher was happy to partake in the pregame soccer festivities again.
During warmups, he took the opportunity to give out some gifts to the Habs faithful in attendance.
Claude Julien's contingent didn't get off to a strong start. With Joel Armia in the penalty box, the Sabres struck early on the power play.
Captain Jack Eichel opened the scoring for the home side.
Buffalo headed to the dressing room with a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.
They also outshot the Canadiens 11-8 during the opening frame.
The Canadiens responded early in the second period, however.
After just 44 seconds of play, Ilya Kovalchuk collected a loose puck in front of the Sabres' net and beat goaltender Carter Hutton to tie things up 1-1.
It was Kovalchuk's fifth goal in 10 games with Montreal.
Forwards Nick Suzuki and Joel Armia registered the assists on the Russian sniper's marker.
Two minutes later, the Canadiens took their first lead of the night.
Gallagher capped a sweet setup by Tomas Tatar for his 16th goal of the season.
The Habs also took the lead in the shot department during the middle stanza with a 22-14 advantage.
Tatar capped the scoring with an empty-netter late in the third period.
The Canadiens will be back in action on Saturday afternoon against the Florida Panthers at the Bell Centre.