NHL Game Summary - Calgary at Montreal
(Tuesday, October 17th)
Final Score: Montreal 5, Calgary 4
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Sheldon Souray and Radek Bonk both scored two goals to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 5-4 victory over the Calgary Flames at the Bell Centre.
Alex Kovalev scored the game-winning goal late in the second period for Montreal, which has earned at least a point in each of its first five games this season (3-0-2). Cristobal Huet allowed four goals on 24 shots in the victory.
"That was a hard fought two points for us," Souray said.
Matt Lombardi scored twice for Calgary, which is now 2-3-1 this season and will conclude a four-game road trip in Boston on Thursday. Chuck Kobasew and young star Dion Phaneuf tallied a goal and an assist in the losing effort.
Calgary goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff finished with 31 saves.
The Canadiens opened the scoring with a short-handed goal 1:32 after the opening faceoff. Bonk pokechecked the puck away from a Flames defenseman at the blue line and the disc squirted to Mike Johnson, who quickly sent it into the neutral zone. Bonk won the race for the puck, hustled in on a clear breakaway and used a nice backhand deke move to beat Kiprusoff.
"It was a turnover and I had a good pass from Johnson," Bonk said.
Calgary tied the contest with a power-play goal at the 7:04 mark. With Bonk in the penalty box for hooking, Phaneuf held the puck at the right point and passed across the blue line for Kobasew, who fired a wrist shot. The save was made, but the rebound caromed to the right circle where Lombardi punched it home.
The special teams goals continued when Souray's second goal of the season at 13:27 gave the hosts a 2-1 lead. Montreal worked the puck around the perimeter before Souray held control at the left point. The veteran blueliner then drifted toward the top of the circle and fired a blazing slap shot that Kiprusoff never saw with the help of a great screen provided by Chris Higgins near the goal mouth.
The game's furious pace was maintained just 27 seconds later on Lombardi's second goal of the opening period. Flames defenseman Robyn Regehr alertly pinched in the zone along the left half-wall near the top of the circle and wound up as if to release a shot. However, Regehr passed across the slot to the opposite circle, where Lombardi fired a one-timer past a sliding Huet.
Before two minutes elapsed in the second period, the teams traded goals. Kobasew's first marker of the season 44 seconds into the stanza preceded an answer by Bonk at the 1:17 mark and the score was knotted at 3-3.
But in the middle stages of the second stanza, three power-play goals -- two by Montreal and one by Calgary -- gave the Habs a 5-4 advantage.
Only three seconds into the Flames power play, which was created when Janne Niinimaa was whistled for holding at 7:43, Phaneuf notched his first goal of the young season with assists from newcomer Alex Tanguay and Daymond Langkow.
Montreal responded with a pair of power-play tallies over the duration of the period, the first of which was Souray's second goal of the night with 10:24 remaining in the frame when he fired a slap shot from the point with traffic in front. The puck deflected off of Kiprusoff's blocker, but with several players standing at the top of the crease, Kiprusoff could not gain control of the rebound and the puck slowly trickled behind him and barely over the goal line for a 4-4 tie.
Calgary's Byron Ritchie went to the penalty box at the 14:37 mark for holding the stick and the Canadiens went to work with the extra skater. The puck went from stick to stick behind the goal line at the right rear boards before Kovalev corralled the disc along the outer rim of the right circle. Kovalev curled toward the slot and ripped a blazing slap shot that hit Kiprusoff's elbow pad and caromed into the back of the cage for the game-winning goal with 4:06 remaining in the period.
"They were pretty good on their power play tonight," said Jarome Iginla.
The Flames produced only six shots on goal in the final period and also wasted three power-play chances. With under six minutes remaining, Jarome Iginla had a good look from the low slot, but fired a one-timer wide of the net.
Kiprusoff was pulled in favor of the extra skater in the final minute, and the Flames nearly tied it up during a scrum in the game's final seconds, but Huet stood tall and Montreal held on for the one-goal victory.
"We got the win, that's all that counts." added Bonk.
Montreal will visit Chicago on Wednesday...The Canadiens held a decisive advantage on faceoffs, 33-21 (61 percent)...The Flames finished 2-for-8 on the power play, while Montreal scored three times on seven chances with the extra skater...Montreal forward Aaron Downey left the game early in the first period after a crushing but clean hit by Regehr. He will be evaluated further throughout Tuesday night for an apparent head injury...Attendance was 21,273.
10/17 23:45:30 ET