Andrei Kostitsyn netted the deciding goal in the second period and Carey Price stopped 26-of-27 shots as Montreal edged Los Angeles, 2-1, at Staples Center.
Tomas Plekanec also tallied for the Canadiens, who snapped a four-game losing streak and picked up a victory to conclude their three-game California road trip.
"Very precious two points there," Price admitted. "The guys played well defensively. We didn't play well on the road trip so we needed this win."
Dustin Penner recorded the lone score for the Kings, who have dropped four of seven. Jonathan Bernier made 25 saves in the loss.
Kostitsyn's rocket from the right wing sailed over Bernier's shoulder for a 2-0 Habs edge at 10:48 of the second period. Lars Eller set up the score with a slick touch pass while gliding through the slot.
LA finally hit the scoreboard on a power play of its own as Penner deflected a Drew Doughty point shot through Price's legs with 6:14 left. It was the first goal of the season for the struggling winger, who made his return to the lineup for the first time since November 10.
The Kings were given a power play with 3:37 to play in regulation when Mike Cammalleri committed a hooking infraction, but the advantage was cut short after Justin Williams was sent off for boarding with 2:25 to go.
Montreal protected Price well down the stretch, and he needed to make just six stops in the third period to preserve the one-goal margin.
"We need to be more diligent in front of the net. I thought our intensity on the puck was not good enough," said Kings head coach Terry Murray. "We need to shoot the puck more, more shots need to get to the net."
Despite being outshot 14-5 in the first period, Montreal led 1-0 after Plekanec lifted a shot from the left circle over traffic in the slot for a power-play tally with 1:21 remaining.
Montreal has won seven in a row and nine of 10 meetings with Los Angeles since December, 2001...The Habs have also taken four straight at LA since March of 2004...Prior to the game, Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier revealed that defenseman Andrei Markov will have arthroscopic knee surgery some time in the next few days and will miss a minimum of three more weeks.