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Bourque, Blue Jackets defeat Flames in OT

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- Rene Bourque helped his new team to a franchise first and hindered, at least slightly, the Stanley Cup Playoff chances of one of his former teams.

Bourque scored twice, including the overtime winner, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 38 saves to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 3-2 win against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday.

The Blue Jackets (33-35-4) won all three games on a Western Canada trip for the first time in their history. They defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in a shootout Wednesday and the Vancouver Canucks 6-2 on Thursday. Columbus has won six games in a row on the road to match its previous best, set Jan. 19-Feb. 18, 2011.

"It's never an easy road trip for an Eastern team," said Bourque, who has scored three of his six goals this season at the Saddledome. "In the East, there's never time changes. It's a long flight, a couple back-to-back games. Credit to the guys in the locker room for a big three games. We never gave up once. We were down a couple goals in almost every game and we were able to climb, fight our way back in. Guys didn't quit. That's what we want to see."

Sean Monahan and Jiri Hudler scored for the Flames (39-27-6), who are two points ahead of the Los Angeles Kings for third place in the Pacific Division. The Kings have one game in hand.

"We need two points and losing that one in overtime is tough to swallow right now," Calgary defenseman Kris Russell said. "At the same time, we're going to take that point and try and build off it. We've got a few games left at home, so we've got to grab some momentum before we head on the road."

After Kevin Connauton threw the puck on net, Bourque, who played 249 games with the Flames over parts of four seasons, scooped up the rebound and slid his second of the game by Calgary goalie Karri Ramo's pad with 58.5 seconds remaining in overtime.

"Overtime, I just tried to get in front of the net," Bourque said. "I don't know if it went off the goalie or a D-man. It just kind popped out in front of me, and I was able to get control of it and put it past Ramo."

Columbus acquired Bourque, forward prospect William Karlsson and a second-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defenseman James Wisniewski at the NHL Trade Deadline. Bourque has four goals in eight games since joining the Blue Jackets.

"So happy for him," Columbus forward Nick Foligno said. "He's come in and just been a great professional, great teammate. Guys are just so happy to have him here. He's fit in really well. He's done everything we asked. We're just happy to see him get rewarded."

The game went to overtime thanks in part to Artem Anisimov and 14 third-period saves from Bobrovsky.

Columbus erased Calgary's 2-1 lead courtesy of a miscue by Russell early in the third. Russell tried to bank a pass off the boards below the goal line, but the puck instead hit the side of the net and came out to Anisimov, who spun and backhanded a shot that nicked Ramo's glove before crossing the goal line at 4:21.

"I was just trying to bank it behind the net, and it obviously wasn't a good bank pass," Russell said. "I don't know; I've got to play pool more or something. It came back out (to the front), and that's my fault. [Ramo] is probably playing the pass to go behind the net, as he should because I should make that play. It's something I've got to be better at and improve at."

From that point, the Blue Jackets killed four minor penalties in regulation to push the game to overtime.

"We were in the box a lot," Bourque said. "Our PK did a great job all game. We wanted to hang around. We kept hanging around waiting for an opportunity and we were able to get it."

The Flames got off to a quick start in the matinee matchup.

Working on the power play after Columbus forward Jared Boll's high-sticking minor, Johnny Gaudreau threw the puck down to Hudler, who made a quick pass through the crease for Monahan to tap behind Bobrovsky for a 1-0 Calgary lead at 4:18 of the first. It was Monahan's 29th goal.

Columbus tied it less than seven minutes later.

Ryan Johansen picked off a pass through the neutral zone by Flames defenseman Deryk Engelland and sailed a pass that Bourque redirected by Ramo at 11:13. Bourque has scored in back-to-back games.

"Joe made a great play on that first goal with the pass," Bourque said. "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."

After Monahan and Hudler struck early in the first period, they connected again in the second to give the Flames a 2-1 lead.

Bobrovsky's botched exchange behind the net put the puck on Monahan's stick, and he quickly dished to Hudler for a tap-in into the vacated net at 2:44. The goal was Hudler's 26th, one more than his previous career best of 25 with the Detroit Red Wings in 2011-12.

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