CALGARY - So far, so good for Rene Bourque— who on his third NHL team this season is finally enjoying some success.
Bourque scored his second goal of the game 4:01 into overtime to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames on Saturday.
With prolonged pressure in the Flames end, Kevin Connauton's shot was stopped but Bourque slipped the rebound past Karri Ramo.
"I'm still trying to see his full game but I'll tell you, when he skates and he works, he is a real impactful player for us because he's got great size and he's got a knack around the net," said Columbus coach Todd Richards."
Bourque was acquired by Columbus at the trade deadline as part of the package surrendered by Anaheim in order to acquire defenceman James Wisniewski. At the time, Bourque had two goals in 43 games between the Ducks and Montreal— where he opened the season.
It's been a different story since arriving in Ohio. Bourque has four goals in eight games and finds himself playing alongside talented Ryan Johansen, who set up Bourque's first goal that tied the score 1-1 in the first period.
"I just feel I'm getting some chances. I'm around the puck a lot and I feel good out there so it's nice," said Bourque, whose best seasons came in Calgary where twice he put up 27 goals.
Artem Anisimov also scored for Columbus (33-35-4), which has won six-of-seven games— including its first ever sweep of Western Canada.
Sean Monahan and Jiri Hudler scored for Calgary (39-27-6).
Locked in a tight playoff race in the Western Conference, the Flames remain third in the Pacific Division, two points back of Vancouver and two points up on Los Angeles. The Canucks and Kings hold a game in hand.
Bob Hartley took little solace in the fact Calgary probably deserved better, outshooting Columbus 40-26.
"All those beautiful stats, they're not worth nothing once the score is up there and the game is over. That's the most important stat and tonight they got one goal more than us," Hartley said. "One point but we don't know if it's going to be enough. The expectations of this group, we never satisfy ourselves with mediocrity and one point out of two is no reason to celebrate."
Columbus tied it 2-2 at 4:21 of the third period on a mistake by Flames defenceman Kris Russell.
Attempting to backhand the puck behind his net to Dennis Wideman in the opposite corner, the puck caromed off the side of the Flames net and popped out to Anisimov, who fired it past Ramo.
"I was just trying to bank it behind the net and it obviously wasn't a good bank pass," said Russell. "I don't know, I've got to play pool more or something."
Hartley defended Russell.
"This guy is going to give an arm for this hockey club. He's a true warrior. He's a leader and hey, they capitalized on one of his mistakes but how many games has he helped us win, how many games has he stopped tons of shots to sacrifice himself for the team?," said Hartley.
Calgary had three power plays over the final 14 minutes of the third period but could not beat Sergei Bobrovky, who turned aside all 14 shots he faced in the final 20 minutes.
Bobrovsky finished with 38 stops to improve to 22-17-2.
Ramo had 23 saves to fall to 14-8-2.
Notes: Columbus activated LW Jeremy Morin (upper body) and C Boone Jenner (back) from injured reserve. They missed 25 and 40 games respectively. Out of the line-up was C Alexander Wennberg (hand)... The Flames finish the season with a 14-14-4 record against the Eastern Conference... Calgary is 6-3-2 since losing captain Mark Giordano to a season-ending torn biceps tendon.