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Canadiens 4, Wild 2 @NHL

MONTREAL (AP) -From his spot on the Minnesota Wild's bench, Pascal Dupuis thought Radek Bonk had no chance of scoring Montreal's go-ahead goal. Neither did any of Dupuis' teammates on the ice.

Bonk scored 12:23 into the third period and Cristobal Huet made 36 saves, leading the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night.

With all five Minnesota players around him and Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom facing backward, Bonk backhanded his own rebound of a loose puck in the crease over the goal line for his fifth goal of the season.

"I thought (Backstrom) had his hand on the puck, but they judged it differently," said Dupuis, who scored late in the second to tie it at 2.

Backstrom thought he had the puck covered, too.

"I got my back in the wrong direction from the beginning, but I thought the puck was under me," Backstrom said. "I couldn't see it, but nobody else could see it either. I haven't seen the video but it was a really bad goal."

Badly outplayed in the second as Minnesota scored twice to tie it, Montreal outshot the Wild 14-4 in the final period.

"The game was on in the third and I think we were able to play better than in the second and find a way to get the two points," Huet said.

Alex Kovalev and Steve Begin scored in the first period for Montreal, which has won two in a row and four of five.

"We sucked in the second period," Montreal captain Saku Koivu said. "I don't know what happened, we were just absolutely terrible."

Mike Komisarek scored into an empty net with 23.2 seconds remaining.

Huet won his fourth straight with another strong outing. The French goalie turned aside 12 shots in the first period before making 19 saves in the second.

"You look at last year and what he meant to us down the stretch drive and into the playoffs, and you look at what Martin Brodeur means to the Devils," Canadiens defenseman Sheldon Souray said. "When goalies like that are playing well, and as good as Cris is playing, it gives a team so much confidence. You make mistakes and you know that usually you're going to get bailed out."

The Wild got goals from Stephane Veilleux and Dupuis to tie it at 2 while outshooting the Canadiens 21-7 in the middle period.

"We knew that team was going to keep on working and we just sat back a bit and tried to take shortcuts," Souray said. "That team lives on turnovers and they brought it to us in the second period. We woke up for the third and were able to fight through it. It was a tough win, but a win, nonetheless."

The Wild, who held a 38-35 margin in shots, once again gave up an early lead, falling behind 2-0 two nights after allowing three first-period goals before trailing 4-0 in a 5-3 loss in Ottawa.

"It's tough to come back every game and win, but we put ourselves back in the game in the second," Dupuis said.

Backstrom stopped 31 shots for Minnesota. Backstrom is 1-2-1 in the Wild's last six games, including three starts. He was 2-0 while making just two relief appearances for No. 1 goalie Manny Fernandez through Minnesota's first 15 games.

Wild defenseman Kurtis Foster was helped off the ice in the second period after he was struck on the right side of the head by Komisarek's clearing shot off a faceoff. He did not return.

Kovalev opened the scoring with his sixth goal on a two-man advantage. Koivu took Michael Ryder's pass from behind the net and immediately fed the puck to Kovalev, who settled the puck before putting a wrist shot over Backstrom.

Begin made it 2-0 with his second of the season.

Huet got help from Komisarek in the second period as the defenseman stopped Todd White's shot with his stick as the goalie lunged across the goalmouth to smother the puck.

Veilleux finally got one past Huet to draw Minnesota within 2-1.

Dupuis scored his fourth at 18:27 of the period to tie it. Montreal was left scrambling around its zone after defenseman Andrei Markov got caught up ice when he collided with teammate Sergei Samsonov in the Wild's zone.

Notes: Wild LW Benoit Pouliot made his NHL debut. Pouliot, Minnesota's first-round pick - fourth overall - in the 2005 draft, had 6:24 of ice time in the game and eight shifts. He was on the ice for Dupuis' goal, finishing plus-one. ... Backstrom is 0-2-1 in three starts. He has won each of his three relief appearances. ... Canadiens D Francis Bouillon made his season debut. Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau dressed seven defenseman as Bouillon returned from preseason knee surgery.

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