MONTREAL - The Canadiens kicked off their preseason schedule with a 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Monday night.
Carey Price started in goal to continue preparing for his 13th NHL season.
It didn't take long for Claude Julien's contingent to get on the board in front of the Bell Centre faithful.
Artturi Lehkonen lit the lamp behind goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood just 2:29 into the first period.
The 24-year-old Finn tipped a Shea Weber point blast past the Devils' starter to give the Canadiens a 1-0 advantage.
Jonathan Drouin picked up an assist on the tally.
Then, it was veteran Nate Thompson's turn to chip in offensively at the 8:14 mark of the frame.
He collected a rebound off a shot by linemate Nick Cousins and beat a helpless Blackwood to put Julien's squad up 2-0.
Video: NJD@MTL: Thompson puts home rebound to extend lead
Youngster Cale Fleury, who began the play with a perfect pass to Cousins coming out of the Canadiens' zone, collected the secondary helper.
The Devils did manage to cut the Canadiens' lead in half shortly before the first intermission.
While prospect Nick Suzuki was in the penalty box for tripping, defenseman Will Butcher beat Price with a wrist shot.
The goal came with just 95 seconds remaining in the period.
Prospect Cayden Primeau took over for Price in between the pipes with 9:52 left in the middle frame.
Price finished the night with eight saves on nine shots.
Shortly after making his entrance, Primeau earned some serious love from the crowd with this spectacular stop on centerman Blake Coleman.
Video: NJD@MTL: Primeau moves across to shut down Coleman
Centerman Michael McLeod scored for New Jersey just 1:55 into the third period to tie things up 2-2.
McLeod capitalized on a bad bounce off the boards behind Primeau, putting the loose puck home.
Primeau didn't lose his focus, though. The 20-year-old Northeastern University product made this beauty stop on pivot Kyle Palmieri to keep things even.
It was Jake Evans who put the Canadiens ahead for good with a solid individual effort while the squad was short-handed.
Evans stole the puck from defenseman Damon Severson and beat goaltender Evan Cormier on a breakaway with 2:38 to go.
Cousins capped the scoring with an empty-netter with 53.8 seconds left in regulation. Xavier Ouellet picked up the assist.
Primeau finished the game with 16 saves on 17 shots.
Click here for a complete game summary.