(Sports Network) - The Flames' struggling offense broke out in a big way last time out. Calgary hopes to carry that over tonight in the opener of a five- game homestand versus the San Jose Sharks at the Saddledome.
Having been held to two goals or less in four of their first six games, including just three total in their previous two contests, the Flames erupted for a 6-2 triumph over the Blue Jackets on Friday.
Rene Bourque led the way with his third career hat trick and added an assist to match a career high with four points. The forward posted his first three- goal game since Dec. 28, 2009 and matched a one-goal, three-assist effort notched on March 7 for his best single-game point total.
Bourque's big game helped take the pressure off Henrik Karlsson in his NHL debut. The undrafted Swedish netminder gave regular starter Miikka Kiprusoff the night off and responded with 20 saves on 22 shots faced.
"I thought he handled things well," Flames head coach Brent Sutter said of his rookie backup. "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, he was rock solid."
Ian White, Alex Tanguay and Niklas Hagman also tallied for the Flames, who have won three of their last four games. Jarome Iginla posted three assists while Olli Jokinen, Matt Stajan and Robyn Regehr each picked up a pair of helpers.
Calgary now returns home for five straight and is 2-1 as the hosting club so far this season.
San Jose is also coming off a big night offensively as it defeated Edmonton, 6-1, on Saturday.
The Sharks got goals from six different skaters, with Joe Pavelski scoring once and adding two assists. Dany Heatley had a goal and a helper and Joe Thornton set up three goals for the Sharks, who have scored 10 goals over a two-game winning streak and will try to wrap a three-game road trip perfect tonight.
"We feel confident with how we're playing right now," said Thornton. "We came out with a good win against Colorado [on Thursday] and we want to keep this momentum going as long as we can. The road trip's not done but we feel we can play with anybody right now."
Antero Niittymaki stopped 21 shots in the win.
Sharks forward Patrick Marleau is one point shy of reaching 700 for his career.
The Flames and Sharks have split their four-game series in the last two seasons, with San Jose dropping four of its last seven in Calgary.