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Bonk puts out Flames

Tuesday, 17.10.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
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Bonk puts out Flames
Czech center, Souray each score a pair on a night of offense


Radek Bonk slips the puck past Miikka Kiprusoff on a shorthanded breakaway.

MONTREAL (CP) - In a game where the big shooters put on a power-play show, Montreal's Sheldon Souray came out on top.

Souray had two goals and an assist on the power play in the Canadiens' wild 5-4 win over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.

"We just want to get shots through to the net," said Souray, who has three power-play goals in five games this season. "We've got guys standing right in front, like Chris Higgins.

"He gets right in front and that's going to be the difference if the goalie can't see the puck coming from the point."

Radek Bonk also had two goals and Alex Kovalev had the other as the Canadiens (3-0-2) remained without a loss in regulation time.

Calgary's Dion Phaneuf, who like Souray is known for his big shot, scored one goal and assisted on another with the man advantage.

Matthew Lombardi scored twice and Chuck Kobasew also scored for the Flames (2-3-1), who lost their second game in a row. The Flames went two-for-eight on the power play, while Montreal was three-for-seven.

Montreal outshot Calgary 36-24 in a tough game for goalies Miikka Kiprusoff of the Flames and Cristobal Huet of the Canadiens.

But the sell-out crowd of 21,273 was buzzing through much of the hugely entertaining game that featured high-tempo action and plenty of scoring chances. Jarome Iginla of Calgary missed the net on a second-period breakaway.

"Our special teams still have to get better," said Flames defenseman Robyn Regehr. "We also have to do a better job of  not giving up those great scoring chances.

"We gave up 36 shots. That's way too many. We gave up 40 the other night in Toronto (a 5-4 overtime loss). We've got lots of work to do."

The Flames look to have solved their goal-scoring woes, but now want to get back to what they are known for - air-tight defense.

"Their team did a good job of getting pucks behind our defense and making our defensemen turn," said coach Jim Playfair. "That's how you end up taking penalties.

"Our team did a lot of good things five-on-five. We scored eight goals in two games, but now we have to refocus on finding our identity, which is strong defensive hockey."

Craig Rivet, Radek Bonk and Co. congratulate Cristobal Huet on his first win of the season.

Bonk checked the puck away from Phaneuf and went in on a short-handed breakaway to score only 1:32 into the match.

A scary moment came at 3:38 of the opening frame, when Canadiens winger Aaron Downey was knocked out cold by an open-ice hit from Regehr in the neutral zone. Downey was to spend the night in hospital with a severe concussion.

"I just wanted to get a good, clean it on him," said Regehr, who was not penalized. "I hope he's not seriously hurt."

It touched off a series of shoving matches, with a string of penalties but no fights, through the rest of the period, but tempers were cooler the rest of the way.

Lombardi fired into an open side on a power play at 7:04. Souray scored on a bullet shot from the point during a four-on-three at 13:27 and Lombardi converted a Regehr pass to tie it at 13:54.

Kobasew scored 44 seconds into the second frame, but Bonk tied the game 33 seconds later. Phaneuf drilled in a power-play point shot at 7:46 only to see Souray do the same at 9:36.

Kovalev made a move at the blue-line, moved to the right circle and put a blast in off Kiprusoff for the game-winner at 15:54.

"I got to score two goals and that's good, but the important thing is the win and that was a big win," said Bonk, who had only six goals last season. "I don't like to go back to last season.

"I had health problems and it just wasn't a good year for me all around. Now, we've got a of games left, but hopefully it can continue like that."

The Flames went into the game with the league's worst power play, with only one goal in 33 chances, but got two against Montreal. The Canadiens went in with the best penalty-killing, with one goal against in their opponents' previous 24 attempts.

The Canadiens play Wednesday night in Chicago, where David Aebischer is tabbed to start in goal, while the Flames end a four-game road trip Thursday in Boston.

Notes: D Rhett Warrener played his first game of the season for Calgary after missing the first five with a knee injury. . . Lombardi, a native of Hudson, Que., had his own cheering section of family and friends in the crowd. . .D Mark Giordano and F Darren McCarty sat out for Calgary, while F Garth Murray was scratched by Montreal. . . Mark Streit played his first game in place of injured D Mathieu Dandenault.

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