Henrik Karlsson upstaged teammate Rene Bourque. Or was it the other way around?
Karlsson, a 26-year-old rookie goaltender from Sweden, stopped 20 shots to win his NHL debut and Bourque scored three goals as the Calgary Flames torched the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-2 on Friday night.
"I was a little nervous, actually," said Karlsson, who was acquired from San Jose during the summer. "I knew I was going to play this game, for like a week. I've been waiting for a long, long time."
Calgary coach Brent Sutter was delighted with the way Karlsson handled himself in his first NHL appearance.
"I thought he handled it really well," Sutter said. "After the first few minutes, he settled in. He looked big in net. Aside from the first goal, where the rebound went right out into the slot, other than that, tell you what, he was rock solid."
Karlsson, who spent most of his professional career in his native Sweden, got the start because the Flames didn't want to play starter Miikka Kiprusoff for the third time in four nights. Karlsson faced only four shots in the first period, though a couple were excellent scoring chances, then got better as the game progressed.
Bourque's big night made things a lot easier for the Swedish rookie.
"He looked so relaxed in net," said Bourque, who has 4 goals this season. "He's so big in net. He plays his angles well. He's been working great in practice. You definitely could see that he was ready to go tonight."
Niklas Hagman, Ian White and Alex Tanguay also scored for the Flames. Jarome Iginla had three assists and Olli Jokinen, Matt Stajan and Robyn Regehr each added two as the Flames bounced back after a 4-2 loss at Detroit on Thursday.
"We wanted to respond after last night. We felt we could have been better than we were last night," Sutter said. "We knew we were going to come in here and we were going to play a team that was going to play hard and compete. I thought (in) the first period we got our legs and we played a pretty solid game."
Calgary led 2-1 before Bourque slammed a drop pass from Jokinen behind Steve Mason with 29 seconds left in the opening period. He scored a shorthanded goal early in the second period on a in the second period, one-timing a feed from Mikael Backlund behind Mason for a 4-1 lead, then completed his hat trick with 6 seconds remaining by knocking his own rebound past Mason.
"I was just fortunate to get a couple of good passes," Bourque said. "Back's goal was a tap-in. Olli made a nice drop pass to me. The third one I kind of got lucky. I got a rebound off the defenseman and put it up top glove."
For the second Friday in a row, the Blue Jackets were overwhelmed at home. Derek Dorsett had and Jan Hejda scored for Columbus, which lost 5-2 to Chicago a week earlier.
"It shouldn't happen," captain Rick Nash said. "We are at home in front of our home fans. We are just disappointed in the effort we put in tonight."
First-year coach Scott Arniel hinted there could be major lineup changes when the Blue Jackets visit Chicago on Saturday night.
"We're getting an awful lot of mileage out of our grit players and we need more from some of our top people," he said.
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report