Canadiens 5, Sabres 1: Defensemen Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban each had a goal and an assist as visiting Montreal secured a playoff spot.
Rene Bourque and rookies Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher also scored while Peter Budaj made 14 saves as the Canadiens leapfrogged Boston to move into first place in the Northeast Division with their sixth win in eight games.
Brian Flynn's short-handed goal in the third period provided the only offense in a lackluster performance by Buffalo, which was outshot 42-15 and lost its second straight to remain six points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Bourque was credited with the opening goal at 6:43 of the first period, when captain Brian Gionta's shot on a 3-on-1 rush deflected off his skate and past Ryan Miller (28 saves). Galchenyuk doubled the lead less than four minutes later with his third goal in four games, tucking the puck behind Miller off the first of Michael Ryder's two assists.
Montreal dominated the middle session and continued to add to its lead. Gallagher collected a puck just to the side of the net and curled around Miller to sweep the it home at 4:36 before Markov made it 4-0 on the power play with a slap shot that was deflected in front and floated over a prone Miller.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Canadiens C Jeff Halpern, who was picked up off waivers on March 23, played in his 900th career game. ... Miller was replaced by G Jhonas Enroth to open the third period. Enroth stopped nine of 10 shots. ... Galchenyuk's tally gave him three goals and three assists during a five-game point streak.