Hats off to Rene Bourque. Well, almost. He did everything but get the hat trick for the Calgary Flames Friday.
The winger scored twice, was effective on the penalty kill, saw time on the power play and was one of the shooters in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers Friday at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
Despite the two goals and an inspired effort from he and his linemates, Curtis Glencross and Matthew Lombardi, the night had a hollow feeling.
"Especially because we lost in overtime in Detroit a couple of nights ago. You want to get two points," said Bourque.
It was the second time this season that Bourque had scored two goals in a game -- Friday's were his ninth and tenth.
Bourque opened the scoring at 16:07 when his pass attempt hit the stick of Stephen Weiss and deflected past starter Tomas Vokoun, who was playing the pass, not the tip.
With the Flames trailing in the second period, Bourque drove to the net just in time to take a beautiful pass from Curtis Glencross from behind the net. Glencross reversed the puck on a backhand and had Vokoun going to the far side of the net. Bourque had the tap-in to tie the game 2-2.
"It was kind of a sloppy game," said Bourque. "I got lucky on the first one. On the second one it was an unbelievable pass. The goalie didn't have any idea where the puck was."
After scoring on his first two shots net he almost made it a clean sweep as his third shot nearly fooled Vokoun. Then, in the third period, he streaked down the right side and let a heavy shot go that Vokoun stood his ground on.
In overtime, Bourque was one of the key cogs in a big kill with the Panthers enjoying a four-on-three with Lombardi in the box for slashing. Near the end of the penalty he managed to clear the puck and run over defenceman Bryan McCabe at the same time.
He tried to go five-hole on Vokoun in the shootout. "Yeah, it would have been nice to score there," said Bourque, lamenting the point that got away.
The Panthers scored shorthanded late in the first period when Kamil Kreps converted on a breakaway, the result of some miscommunication and puck-bobbling by Todd Bertuzzi and Mark Giordano at the Panther blueline. It was the sixth shorthanded goal given up by the Flames this season and the fifth on home ice. Late in the third the power play would give up another breakaway but this time Radek Dvorak shot the puck high and wide.
The Panthers struck again early in the second when Jay Bouwmeester scored to make it 2-1.
It might have been a frigid and snowy night in Calgary. But the bone-chilling temperatures and white stuff certainly didn't faze the Florida Panthers. The boys from the sun belt and beaches were full marks in playing their second game in as many nights.
They came hard at the Flames and got plenty of pucks to the net while playing a tight, defensive style that limited the Flames shots on goal until the Flames poured it on in the third period when they outshot the Panthers 17-4.
"They (the Bourque line) had a great game for us," said captain Jarome Iginla, also denied in the shootout. "Florida came out strong. We got better behind that line of ours."
Panther goalie Tomas Vokoun looked a little awkward at times but he made the saves when he needed to, including stopping Iginla on a third period power play. Not to mention not allowing a goal in the shootout -- Mike Cammalleri, the Flames first shooter, hit the post.
Miikka Kiprusoff stopped the first two shooters but Stephen Weiss found the five-hole to record his third straight game-winning goal for the Panthers.
Looking back on the game, the Flames would like some do-overs on the power play.
"Our power play has not been clicking the way it has been over the last little while and it would have made a difference tonight," said Iginla.
The Flames were 0-5 with the man advantage and registered just eight shots on net on the power play. "We had lots of chances," said head coach Mike Keenan. "Glorious chances. Their goaltender was very good."
It marked the second game in a row that the Flames have gone to overtime and failed to collect the second point. They lost 4-3 in overtime to Detroit on Wednesday in Detroit.
"It's still an important point. They all add up," said Iginla.