11/22/2006 10:36:54 PM
MONTREAL (CP) - Radek Bonk scored in the third period to break a tie and give the Montreal Canadiens a 4-2 victory over the injury-riddled Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night.
Bonk pushed the puck in from a scramble in front of goaltender Niklas Backstrom at 12:33 to break a tie and give Montreal (12-5-3) its fourth win in five games. Mike Komisarek added an empty-net goal with 24 seconds to play.
The Wild (12-8-1), without injured stars Pavol Demitra, Marian Gaborik and speedy forward Wes Walz, are 3-7-1 in their last 11 games after starting the season 9-1-0.
Alex Kovalev and Steve Begin scored in the first period for Montreal, but the Wild dominated the second and tied the game with goals from Stephane Vielleux and Pascal Dupuis.
The game featured only the second ever NHL meeting between Saku Koivu, the Canadiens captain, and Wild sophomore Mikko Koivu, who was called for interfering with his older brother in the first period but didn't figure in the scoring.
It also saw referees Wes McCauley and Mick McGeough hand out three diving minors - one to Montreal and two to the Wild.
Outshooting Montreal 38-35, including 21-7 in the second frame, Minnesota may have opened a big lead, but goaltender Cristobal Huet had the 21,273 spectators on their feet with a string of sharp saves during a second-period Wild power play.
Kovalev opened the scoring during a two-man advantage 11:36 into the game when he finished a three-way cycle with Koivu and Michael Ryder.
Begin tipped Mathieu Dandenault's point shot past Backstrom at 14:04.
The Wild finally got one past Huet when Veilleux's shot from the right circle went in off Komisarek at 13:31 of the second period.