The Flyers have been one of the best teams in the playoffs in the opening period. Monday was no exception as John LeClair, Mark Recchi and Sami Kapanen scored to extend Philadelphia's advantage to 16-3 in the postseason.
After the Flyers maintained possession in the Lightning end for the entire first minute, LeClair collected the puck inside the Tampa Bay blue line and skated to the left hash, where he beat Nikolai Khabibulin through the legs with a wrist shot at 1:53.
Tampa Bay killed a 37-second five-on-three before Recchi scored a power-play goal by tipping Marcus Ragnarsson's shot from the left circle past Khabibulin at 8:50.
Kapanen added a short-handed goal at 11:17. The puck hit Lightning defenseman Dan Boyle as he was going off for a line change, creating a two-on-one that ended with Kapanen beating Khabibulin over the left shoulder.
THE POSITIVE: The Lightning had a great chance when Vinny Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis broke free for a two-on-one, but goaltender Robert Esche stopped St. Louis' uncontested shot from the slot at 5:37.
THE NEGATIVE: The three-goal deficit matched the Lightning's largest of the playoffs.
KEY PLAY: Kapanen's goal was the first short-handed tally allowed by the Lightning in the postseason and put the Flyers firmly in control.
KEY PLAYER: LeClair's first goal of the playoffs put Philadelphia ahead for the first time in the series.
2nd: Deficit grows, Nik leaves
The Lightning started the period knowing it had to score early and often to get back in the game and got two good chances in the opening three minutes.
But Robert Esche stopped Ruslan Fedotenko's backhand attempt from the slot 35 seconds in and Vinny Lecavalier's shot from the high slot at 2:53.
John Grahame replaced Nikolai Khabibulin in net after Vladimir Malakhov gave the Flyers a 4-0 lead at 6:02. Jeremy Roenick passed from behind the net to Malakhov, whose shot from the left point beat Khabibulin.
Grahame stopped the first seven shots he faced before Michal Handzus banged in a Mark Recchi rebound from the right edge of the crease with 12 seconds left.
Esche was shaken up at 10:53 after Malakhov got his stick caught under Esche's mask but stayed in the game.
THE POSITIVE: Lightning forward Dave Andreychuk leveled Simon Gagne with a check along the boards at 5:43, giving the crowd a rare reason to cheer.
THE NEGATIVE: Khabibulin, who allowed an average of one goal per game through the first 10, was pulled after allowing four goals on 12 shots.
KEY PLAY: Malakhov's goal gave the Flyers a four-goal lead and chased Khabibulin.
KEY PLAYER: Philadelphia defenseman Marcus Ragnarsson assisted on Handzus' goal, his third helper of the game.
3rd: Two goals, many penalties
With the game out of reach, the Lightning turned its focus to winning the period and building some momentum to take into Game 3.
Tampa Bay quickly got a power play when Keith Primeau was penalized for high sticking Dave Andreychuk 55 seconds in. at :55
But the Lightning failed to take advantage for the third time in the game.
Shortly after Philadelphia killed the penalty, Mattias Timander's shot from between the circles beat John Grahame to the glove side to give the Flyers a 6-0 lead.
Tempers boiled over at 7:30, when fights broke out between Darryl Sydor and Danny Markov, and Andre Roy and Branko Radivojevic.
The result was a two-minute five-on-three for Philadelphia and a game misconduct for Roy.
Chris Dingman and Tim Taylor joined Roy in the locker room after a confrontation with Donald Brashear with 8:53 remaining at 11:07 that resulted in another five-on-three.
THE POSITIVE: The Lightning killed both of the Flyers' two-man advantages.
THE NEGATIVE: A lopsided game turned into a farce as the Lightning spent most of the second half of the period two men down.
KEY PLAY: Ruslan Fedotenko scored on a rebound from the lower left circle to put the Lightning on the scoreboard and ruin Robert Esche's shutout bid at 10:13.
KEY PLAYER: Martin St. Louis' goal with 2:42 left at 17:18 allowed the Lightning to outscore the Flyers 2-1 in the period. Call it a moral victory.