MONTREAL — Jeff Petry scored the game-winning goal early in the third period and the Montreal Canadiens extended their team record to six wins to start a season with a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night.
Brendan Gallagher, Tomas Plekanec and Brian Flynn, into an empty net, also scored for Montreal (6-0-0), which last went unbeaten in its first six games in 1977-78 (5-0-1).
Rookie Dylan Larkin scored for Detroit (3-2-0), which lost a second game in a row.
The Canadiens entered the game only 2-for-21 on the power play but scored twice with the man advantage. They had a 41-22 edge in shots on Detroit but Petr Mrazek was sharp in goal.
Larkin, who extended his points streak to start his career to five games, opened the scoring 4:47 into the second frame when he flipped a backhander toward the net and saw it sneak past Carey Price's pad on the near side.
It was the first time this season Montreal trailed in a game, but that didn't last long.
Gallagher's tying goal on a power play at 7:44 needed video review. A cross-ice pass from Plekanec was cleared by Kyle Quincey into the onrushing Gallagher's skates and went in just as the Canadiens winger slid into Mrazek and the net. The NHL situation room ruled it counted because he didn't direct the puck in with a skate.
A Jonathan Ericsson tripping call on David Desharnais put Montreal on a power play and Petry got his first of the season 6:32 into the third on a blast from the point with Desharnais parked in front of Mrazek.
Plekanec, who signed a two-year US$12 million contract extension on Friday, scored his fifth of the season at 17:56 by tipping in a pass from Gallagher, who stripped the puck from Mike Green in the Detroit zone.
The Red Wings had centre Darren Helm (concussion) and defenceman Danny Dekeyser (foot) back from injuries to make their season debut.
Before the game, referee Marc Joanette was honoured in an on-ice ceremony for officiating his 1,000th NHL game.
Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press