PITTSBURGH – Tomas Plekanec and Travis Moen scored early in the first and second periods, and the Canadiens' Carey Price made 26 saves to blank the Penguins 3-0 Saturday.
Price notched his eighth shutout this season, 12th of his career, and he has allowed seven goals in starting the past six games.
The Canadiens are two points behind fifth-place idle Boston in the Eastern Conference, having won six of their past seven.
A five-game winning streak had been broken with a 4-1 loss Thursday at St. Louis, and the team was coping with the loss Tuesday of winger Max Pacioretty, who sustained a severe concussion and fractured vertebra from a hard hit by Boston's Zdeno Chara.
The first of Montreal's quick strikes came 46 seconds into the game on Plekanec's 21st goal, second-most on the team. He beat Pittsburgh's Jordan Staal on the faceoff, slipped around Staal and backhanded a pass from Mike Cammalleri behind goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.
The Canadiens struck just 24 seconds into the second period on Moen's one-timer. The play began with Scott Gomez intercepting a breakout pass by Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang, and Brian Gionta fed Moen atop the right circle.
Cammalleri made it 3-0 at 6:51, going down to one knee to redirect Jeff Halpern's sharp pass by Fleury.
That was three goals in 12 shots, and Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma replaced Fleury with Brent Johnson, who stopped all eight shots he faced.
Montreal took three of four games from Pittsburgh in the season series, including both at the Consol Energy Center.
The Penguins, missing injured stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, had won two in a row for the first time since early February leading into this loss. They had been 7-2-1 in the previous 10 home games.
Notes: The overflow crowd of 18,310 marked the Penguins' 200th consecutive sellout, including 165 at their previous home, Mellon Arena, and 29 playoff games. Their record in those 200 games is 123-58-19, and the total attendance was 3,437,909. ... Cammalleri, who burned the Penguins with seven goals in the Canadiens' seven-game playoff victory last spring, had a goal and assist to raise his career regular-season totals against Pittsburgh to four goals and four assists in 10 games. ... Pittsburgh winger Alexei Kovalev, formerly of Montreal, has one goal and no assists in the seven games since the Penguins acquired him from Dallas.