EDMONTON – Rene Bourque scored his second career hat trick as the Calgary Flames ended a three-game losing skid, defeating the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 Monday night.
Mark Giordano also scored for the Flames (21-12-5) who have won just four games in December.
Ryan Potulny replied for the Oilers (15-20-4) who have now lost seven games in a row, their worst losing skid since a nine-game streak from Feb. 25 to March 15, 2007.
Edmonton opened the scoring 2:02 into the game. The puck came back to defenceman Jason Strudwick during a mad scramble in front of Calgary goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, and his shot was tipped in by Potulny.
The ensuing face-off displayed a bit of the historic animosity between the provincial rivals as Andrew Cogliano dropped the gloves for his first ever NHL fight with Calgary’s Dustin Boyd.
Calgary appeared to have scored on the power play with three minutes remaining in the opening frame, but a video review concluded that Curtis Glencross had batted the puck in with a high stick.
However, just two minutes later the Flames evened it up as Nigel Dawes hustled to a puck behind the Edmonton net and made a quick pass out front to Bourque ,who chipped it past Oilers starter Jeff Deslauriers to make it 1-1.
Edmonton outshot the Flames 16-5 in the first period.
The Flames took the lead midway through the second on the power play as Olli Jokinen’s shot hit the crossbar and landed in the crease, where it was swept in by Bourque for his second of the game and 12th of the season.
Bourque completed the natural hat trick five minutes into the third period as he directed in a rebound from a short-handed shot by Daymond Langkow to make it 3-1.
It was 4-1 less than two minutes later as Giordano beat Deslauriers glove-side with a quick wrist shot from the middle of the face-off circle.
The final five minutes featured three more fights, including Calgary captain Jarome Iginla squaring off with Ladislav Smid.
Both teams return to the ice on Wednesday with the Oilers hosting Toronto and Calgary starting a three-game homestand against Los Angeles.
Notes: It was the fourth of six meetings between the two teams with Calgary also winning all three of the earlier encounters… Edmonton’s Dustin Penner played in his 300th NHL game… It was Oiler defenceman Sheldon Souray’s first game against the Flames since he was tripped into the boards and injured by Calgary’s Jarome Iginla on Oct. 8… Iginla has now gone six games without scoring against the Oilers and 10 games without scoring at Rexall Place in Edmonton… Flames forward Craig Conroy, who had 12 goals in each of the last two seasons, has yet to score this season, now at 36 games without a goal… Goalie Nikolai Khabibulin has now missed 16 games with a back injury since his last start on Nov. 18 and is still out indefinitely… Olli Jokinen recorded his 300th career assist on Calgary’s first period goal.