EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Montreal Canadiens didn't look at all like a team playing its second game in as many nights as they scored three straight goals and then held off some furious Oilers pressure Thursday night to post a 4-1 victory.
The Canadiens fell behind 1-0 on Ryan Smyth's first goal of the season at 2:28 of the first, but took charge after that, scoring twice in the second and twice more in the third to improve to 2-2 on the season.
It was anybody's game until Alex Galchenyuk's goal at 12:15 of the third period, a 2-on-1 with Brendan Gallagher, gave Montreal a 3-1 lead.
In a late act of desperation, Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins pulled his goalie with 4:18 to play in the third period, resulting in Maz Pacioretty's empty-netter in the final moments.
Despite playing the night before in Calgary, the Canadiens went stride for stride with an Edmonton team playing on two days rest.
The Habs were put to the test early, having to kill a couple of early penalties -- Rene Bourque at the 26 second mark and Alex Galchenyuk at 2:41 -- and answered with a pair of very good kills, limiting Edmonton to just two shots.
Devan Dubnyk, who struggled in his first two starts and brought a 6.53 GAA and .831 save percentage into the game, had a strong first period, stopping all 12 Montreal shots in the first period.
Edmonton had another early power play to start the second period and this time they made good on it, with a falling Smyth getting some wood on a Taylor Hall centering pass.
Montreal tied it up with a power play goal of its own -- Brendan Gallagher's one-timer from the back door -- at 9:24.
Just three minutes later, the Smyth, Boyd Gordon and Nail Yakupov line got caught chasing their tails against Montreal's fourth line, leading to a Brandon Prust tap-in at 12:05.
NOTES: Thursday's game marked the first time that Yakupov and former junior teammate Alex Galchenyuk, who went first and third overall in the 2012 draft, faced each other in the NHL. ... The Canadiens were 6-1-1 in the second game of back-to-backs last season. ... Edmonton leaves Friday morning for a six-game, 13-day road trip beginning in Toronto. ... Oilers LW Ryan Smyth returned to the lineup after spending the last game in the press box. He scored his first goal of the season in the second period. ... Canadiens LW Max Pacioretty returned to the lineup after missing Wednesday's game in Calgary with an arm injury. ... Montreal tough guy George Parros, who had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher after smacking his chin on the ice during a fight last week, is free of concussion symptoms.