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Bonk is burning

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
Big center heating up at the right time

Radek Bonk is on pace to double his goal output of a year ago.

MONTREAL - With the stretch run to the playoffs in full swing, Radek Bonk couldn't have picked a better time to catch fire.

After notching a pair goals Thursday night in Pittsburgh to fuel the Canadiens' spirited comeback against the Penguins, Bonk was at it again versus the Islanders. The big centerman got the Habs on the scoreboard with his ninth goal of the season, giving him three goals in his last two games.

"Sure it always feels good to score a couple of goals, but if the team doesn't win, it doesn't mean a whole lot to me," admitted Bonk, the game's third star, who is well on pace to double his six-goal output of a year ago.

His current tear must feel like deja-vu to Bonk, whose last hot stretch came last season when he piled up four goals in three games from March 25-28.

"There are stretches like this when a shot that wouldn't go in earlier in the year starts finding the net," said Bonk. "You can do the same things you've been doing all season and then things will suddenly start clicking. Sometimes it just comes down to finally having the puck bounce your way."

Linemate Mike Johnson doesn't need reminding that Bonk is on roll.

"Radek has had a hot stick the past couple of games that's for sure," said Johnson, who has a goal and two assists of his own in the past two games. "It's at times like this that you just want to get Bonkie the puck whenever you can because you know something good is going to happen."

With the third and fourth lines clicking of late, Johnson is crossing his fingers that his line's recent production is only the beginning.

"It's important for every line to be doing their part," added Johnson. "We can't just sit back and hope the power play does all the work. We're glad to be contributing offensively, but it would feel a whole lot better of we were winning games as well."

The Canadiens will get right back at it tomorrow afternoon in the much-anticipated rematch against Sidney Crosby and the Penguins.

Manny Almela is a writer for

Islanders 4, Canadiens 2 

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