CALGARY - Rene Bourque scored his first career NHL hat trick Saturday night leading the Calgary Flames to a 5-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators.
After scoring twice in the second period, Bourque capped his exciting evening at 14:25 of the third period, one-timing Daymond Langkow's centring pass inside the far post behind Alex Auld.
As Bourque excitedly celebrated his 14th goal of the season with an emphatic fist pump, the Pengrowth Saddledome sell-out crowd of 19,289 erupted into applause immediately showering the ice with hats.
Acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks last summer in exchange for future considerations, the 27-year-old Bourque is second on the team in goals trailing only Jarome Iginla (16). Bourque only scored 10 goals in 62 games last year.
Adrian Aucoin, Andre Roy, and Todd Bertuzzi also scored for Calgary (20-11-4). The Flames have earned points in seven straight games (4-0-3) and open up a three point lead over Vancouver atop the Northwest Division.
Chris Phillips, Jason Spezza, and Alexandre Picard scored for Ottawa (12-16-5). The Senators have lost the first two games of a stretch that sees them play eight straight games on the road. Ottawa is winless in its last 11 games away from home (0-9-2).
Trailing 3-2, Ottawa would eventually tie the game 3-3 on Picard's goal at 8:16 of the third period.
However, Aucoin scored the game-winner 43 seconds later on a delayed penalty.
With Steve Kelly to be penalized for hooking in the Calgary zone, the Flames maintained control of the puck and eventually headed up ice and into Ottawa's end. With Kiprusoff on the bench for a sixth skater, Mike Cammalleri sent a cross-ice pass to Aucoin who one-timed a 30-foot slapshot into the top corner.
With Calgary trailing by two goals in the second period and looking for a spark in its first game back from the Christmas break, Bourque ignited a barrage of three Calgary goals in a span of 2:07, striking just 93 seconds after Spezza's goal at 8:32 had given the Senators a 2-0 lead.
After Ottawa defenceman Brendan Bell failed twice to clear the puck out of the Ottawa zone along the side boards, Langkow worked the puck to Bourque who darted behind the Senators net and tucked in a backhanded wraparound before Auld could get his pad all the way across.
Bourque tied the game 58 seconds later, pouncing on a loose puck after Spezza lost control of it in the Senators zone and fired a wrist shot into the top corner.
Three guys not known for their offence then combined to put the Flames into the lead at 12:12.
Eric Nystrom passed the puck to rookie defenceman Adam Pardy who threaded a pass across the crease to Roy at the side of the net. The rugged winger one-timed in his second goal of the season.
It was just the second assists of the season for both Nystrom and Pardy. Roy hadn't scored since he scored Calgary's first goal of the season back on Oct. 11.
After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, Ottawa opened the scoring 1:12 into the second when Phillips scored on a slapshot. It was Phillip's second goal in as many games after going 57 games without a goal.
Notes: Bourque's career high is 16 goals, which came three years ago in his rookie season with Chicago... Rookie Ottawa C Cody Bass did not return after appearing to have injured his shoulder during a first period fight with Calgary's Eric Nystrom... With Ottawa D Anton Volchenkov (upper body) sidelined, D Brian Lee was recalled from Binghamton (AHL) and inserted into the line-up partnering with Phillips. It is Lee's fourth stint with the NHL club this season... Kiprusoff improves his career mark against Ottawa to 4-0-0. Kiprusoff shut out the Senators 1-0 the last time the two teams met in Ottawa on Oct. 12, 2006.