Matthew Lombardi scored twice in the first period for Calgary, and the game was tied at 2 after 20 minutes. The teams traded the lead twice in the second before Kovalev scored his second goal of the season on Montreal's sixth power play, giving the Canadiens the
decisive 5-4 advantage.
Montreal, which fell 3-2 to Ottawa on Saturday in its third shootout in the first four games, remained undefeated through regulation (3-0-2).
"The important thing is the win, and we got that," Bonk said.
Dion Phaneuf had a goal and two assists, and Chuck Kobasew also scored for Calgary. The Flames have allowed 10 goals while losing
two straight after opening their four-game road trip with a 1-0 win in Ottawa on Thursday.
"I think we're a very good defensive club," Flames captain Jarome Iginla said. "Before tonight we were probably in the top quarter of clubs in the league on defense. You have to learn how to win games different ways, and tonight was a different style of game. There were power plays, there were bounces going, and they
found a way to win it."
Montreal forward Aaron Downey left the game and was taken to a hospital after his head slammed against the glass above the boards during a check from Robyn Regehr early in the first. He was hospitalized Tuesday night with a concussion.
Downey had his head down as he skated along the boards to dump the puck and never saw the Calgary defenseman, who skated backward and drove his right shoulder into Downey's head, dropping him to the ice.
"It was clean," Regehr said. "It was at a point in the game where I thought they had the momentum a little bit by scoring the shorthanded goal on us. I came across the ice looking for the hit as he was trying to get to the red line and make the dump in. I believe he had his head down, too, and I just came with the shoulder."
Mike Johnson had two assists, including his breakaway pass to Bonk, who opened the scoring with a shorthanded effort 1:32 in when he faked a shot before slipping a backhand in off goalie Miikka Kiprusoff's right skate.
"I had a bird's-eye view. He's obviously got a lot of skills and he can put the puck in the net and make good plays, and he showed it," Johnson said.
Calgary, 1-for-33 with the man advantage entering the game, got its second power-play goal of the season at 7:04 when Lombardi put Phaneuf's rebound past Cristobal Huet.
Lombardi, a native of Montreal, drew the Flames even again at 2 with his third goal of the season -- second of the period -- at 13:54. It came 27 seconds after Souray scored on a four-on-three.
Kobasew got his first of the season 44 seconds into the second to put Calgary up 3-2, but Bonk tied it 33 seconds later with his second of the game.
Phaneuf scored Calgary's second power-play goal of the night at 7:46 when he one-timed a slap shot past Huet, off a pass from Alex Tanguay, three seconds after Canadiens defenseman Janne Niinimaa
was whistled for holding.
The Canadiens replied 1:50 later as Souray tied it at 4, five seconds after Rhett Warrener was sent off for hooking.
"That's hardly what the scouting report would have dictated, a back-and-forth affair, nine goals, lots of action," Johnson said. "They're obviously fun games to play when you win, not so much when you lose."
Lombardi had six goals in 55 games last season. ... Canadiens defenseman Mark Streit made his season debut, replacing Mathieu Dandenault, who is sidelined indefinitely by a partially torn calf. The Swiss national team captain was paired with Niinimaa.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Bell Centre Location: Montreal, Quebec
Referees: Dave Jackson, Chris Lee Linesmen: Michel Cormier, Derek Nansen
Attendance: 21,273 (100.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Radek Bonk (1)
(Shorthanded) Assist: Mike Johnson
Matthew Lombardi (3)
(Power Play) Assists: Chuck Kobasew, Dion Phaneuf
Sheldon Souray (2)
(Power Play) Assists: Michael Ryder, Chris Higgins
Matthew Lombardi (3)
Assist: Robyn Regehr
Chuck Kobasew (1)
Assist: Dion Phaneuf
Radek Bonk (2)
Assist: Mike Johnson
Dion Phaneuf (1)
(Power Play) Assists: Alex Tanguay, Daymond Langkow
Sheldon Souray (3)
(Power Play) Assists: Andrei Markov, Saku Koivu
Alex Kovalev (2)
(Power Play) Assists: Tomas Plekanec, Sheldon Souray