MONTREAL - The Canadiens secured a 5-4 shootout victory over the Golden Knights on Saturday to register their fourth win in their last five games.
It was the Habs' final contest heading into their annual bye week, so they desperately wanted to make it a good one.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi was looking extra stylish for the final regular-season encounter with the boys from Sin City.
Claude Julien's troops were fired up to pick up another all-important win and keep things rolling in the right direction.
Things got off to a solid start for Julien's contingent when Nick Cousins opened the scoring just 5:51 into the first period, sneaking a puck past Vegas starter Marc-Andre Fleury.
Cousins converted a perfect feed from Dale Weise from behind the net to get Montreal on the board.
It was Cousins' sixth goal of the season, and his first marker since December 17 in Vancouver.
The Canadiens went up 2-0 when Ilya Kovalchuk scored his seventh goal of the season at the 12:33 mark of the frame.
The 36-year-old Russian winger put his own rebound past a helpless Fleury to extend his point streak to three straight games.
It was also his first goal as a memeber of the Habs in front of the Bell Centre faithful.
Joel Armia made it 3-0 for Montreal when he tipped a Brett Kulak point shot past Fleury with 1:55 remaining in the period.
It was Armia's 13th goal of the season, matching the career-high he set last year with Montreal.
That's the way things stood after 20 minutes.
Jonathan Marchessault struck back for Vegas at the 9:08 mark of the second period, ripping a feed from Reilly Smith past Price.
That cut the Canadiens' lead to 3-1.
Paul Stastny brought the Golden Knights to within a goal when he stuffed a loose puck into the back of the Canadiens' net with 5:12 left in the period.
The Habs restored their two-goal advantage when Cousins scored his second goal of the game at the 9:40 mark of the third period.
Once again, Cousins was the beneficiary of a feed from Weise.
It was the third multi-goal game of Cousins' NHL career.
Max Pacioretty answered back for Vegas, scoring with 1:57 remaining in regulation time.
Smith scored the equalizer for Vegas with eight seconds left before the final buzzer.
Overtime settled nothing, but Kovalchuk and Tomas Tatar scored in the shootout to help the Canadiens come out on top.
The Canadiens will be back in action on Monday, January 27, when they play host to the Washington Capitals at the Bell Centre.