Tampa Bay set a tone on the first shift that Game 2 was going to be different from Game 1. The line of Vinny Lecavalier, Ruslan Fedotenko and Martin St. Louis had a scoring chance less than a minute in. The Lightning spent much of the period killing penalties, but carried the play at even strength.
And the Lightning did something few teams have done in the playoffs: score against the Flames in the first period. For the first time in nine games, the Flames allowed a goal in the first 20 minutes when Fedotenko, after a slick play by Lecavalier, scored at 7:10.
Both teams had chances on the power play: two for the Lightning, four for the Flames. Calgary looked dangerous on its first but Tampa Bay's penalty killers looked strong after that.
THE POSITIVE: The Lightning showed more energy in the first period than it did in the entire Game 1.
THE NEGATIVE: The Lightning took four undisciplined penalties, all of which had nothing to do with the play. The worst was the fourth, a bench minor for too many men on the ice.
KEY PLAY: Fedotenko's goal. The play started with Lecavalier, who passed the puck to himself off the back of the net and around Calgary's Stephane Yelle. Lecavalier worked the puck to Jassen Cullimore, whose slap shot was stopped by Miikka Kiprusoff. Fedotenko crashed in for the rebound goal.
KEY PLAYER: Defenseman Pavel Kubina helped the Lightning avert a few problems, particularly on a play when he broke up a centering feed to Calgary's Jarome Iginla that would have given him a shot between the circles.
Period 2: Lead holds steady
The Lightning did not extend its lead, but it played a strong period mostly at even strength.
With Lightning wing Fredrik Modin in the penalty box for hooking, Brad Richards blocked a shot from the top of the slot and chased the deflection into the neutral zone for a partial breakaway. He moved in on Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, but Kiprusoff turned Richards away with a stick save.
Later, Vinny Lecavalier surprised Kiprusoff with a quick wrist shot off of a faceoff from the left circle, but Kiprusoff got a glove on it.
Calgary's Chris Clark had two excellent scoring chances. The best came midway through when he weaved into the slot and fired a wrist shot from about 15 feet. Tampa Bay goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, though, made the save.
THE POSITIVE: Despite a one-goal lead, the Lightning kept pressing in search of another goal instead of sitting back in a defensive shell.
THE NEGATIVE: The Lightning did not get that additional goal. Though it carried the play, especially late in the period, the Lightning went into the third with a precarious one-goal lead.
KEY PLAY: Kiprusoff's save on Lecavalier with 1:49 left. Lecavalier was alone in front and made what appeared to be a perfect deflection, but Kiprusoff knocked it away with his blocker.
KEY PLAYER: Lecavalier, playing a much more physical style than normal, created several scoring chances in the first and second period. He easily could have single-handedly given the Lightning a 3-0 lead if it hadn't been for Kiprusoff.
Period 3: Breathing room found after power-play bust
After a slow start to the series, the Lightning finally broke out of a rut and scored three goals in the first 5:58.
At the start of the third, Tampa Bay had a five-on-three power play for 46 seconds and squandered it.
The Lightning spent too much time looking for the perfect shot and not enough time shooting.
But the Lightning quickly rebounded from the power-play letdown.
Tampa Bay's insurance goal came at 2:51 when Martin St. Louis moved the puck in the slot where Dave Andreychuk tipped it to Brad Richards.
He was camped just outside the crease and knocked the puck into an open net. Dan Boyle and St. Louis added goals, giving the Lightning a 4-0 lead.
Calgary avoided a shutout with 7:39 left with a power-play goal. Forward Ville Nieminen beat Nikolai Khabibulin on the high stick side.
THE POSITIVE: The Lightning didn't sit on its lead. It showed a killer instinct by striking for three goals in the first six minutes.
THE NEGATIVE: In the Lightning's only loss of the night, Cory Stillman was pounded in a fight by Calgary's Andrew Ference. It was payback for Stillman's elbow on Marcus Nilson in Game 1.
KEY PLAY: They say the most dangerous lead in hockey is a two-goal lead. Boyle's goal gave the Lightning breathing room with a three-goal lead.
KEY PLAYER: Brad Richards, who didn't score in last season's playoffs, scored his ninth to give the Lightning a pivotal two-goal lead.