MONTREAL — Tomas Plekanec and the Canadiens finally had something to smile about — although they won't have long to enjoy it.
Plekanec, who had gone seven games without a point, had a goal and three assists as Montreal ended a four-game losing streak with a 5-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.
The Canadiens have a quick turnaround, with a game against the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday afternoon.
"No complaints this time," Plekanec said. "We played with confidence. We moved the puck really well and scored some goals. Hopefully this is the start of the solid winning streak that we need and that we keep it going."
The Canadiens, who started the season 19-4-3, picked up only the sixth win in their last 27 games.
Benoit Pouliot scored a short-handed goal in the third period for Edmonton's lone score. The Oilers had stormed out of the All-Star break with a pair of one-sided wins, only to suffer one themselves on Saturday.
"We played two really good games, then maybe got a little too comfortable and didn't put in the work to be successful," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "So maybe we learn and go to New York and try to repair a few things."
The Oilers will play at the Islanders on Sunday.
"That's as bad as we've been in a long time," McLellan said of Saturday's performance. "We didn't skate well, we didn't pass, our structure was poor and, when you're playing against a team like Montreal that's hungry and prepared to get it right and play hard all night, it's not going to cut it. We got what we deserved."
Oilers rookie Connor McDavid had a tough matchup with defenseman P.K. Subban and still managed to get some scoring chances, although he was held off the score sheet for the first time in three games since returning from a collarbone injury.
The 19-year-old dazzled late in the game as he split the defense and got off a shot with his stick between his legs — all at top speed — only to miss the net.
"I thought we did a pretty good job against him, but he had his chances," said Montreal forward Brendan Gallagher. "People in Edmonton should be excited about what they've got."
Gallagher and Subban each had a goal and an assist, while Lars Eller and Tom Gilbert also scored for Montreal, which beat the Oilers for the first time in five meetings since 2013-14.
Montreal opened the scoring at 7:27 when Plekanec's one-timer was deflected by Gallagher with a man advantage. It was Montreal's fifth straight game with a power-play goal.
Eller was left alone in the slot to take a feed from Tomas Fleischmann and beat Cam Talbot with a low wrist shot at 16:11.
Plekanec's pass on a rush down the left wing hit a skate and went in 11:48 into the second and the Czech veteran fed Subban for a high shot that went in on Talbot's glove side.
Talbot, who allowed four goals on 22 shots, was replaced by Anders Nilsson to start the third. Edmonton got on the scoreboard at 1:51 when Pouliot blew past the defense and lifted a backhander over Scrivens.
Gilbert sneaked in from the point to tip Plekanec's pass behind Nilsson at 9:59.
NOTES: It's the 25th time Montreal will play two afternoon games on Super Bowl weekend. The Canadiens are 26-18-5 in those contests.