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Slapshots

Let's play the feud

By Times staff writers
Published May 28, 2004

Main story
Photo gallery
Gary Shelton: What else did you expect?
John Romano: Fedotenko proves his value
Flames take out frustrations
Game 2: period by period
Goalie comparison
Hockey is the best medicine
Lecavalier goes in with a bang
Lecavalier play simply fit for the Great One
Meet the man who keeps them on edge
Richards' 2003 is now net gain
Simon fitting in with Flames
Slapshots
Soundbites
Lightning 4, Flames 1Series tied 1-1
(56k | High-Speed)

STANLEY CUP FINALS AT A GLANCE:
Click on each score for the main story from each game
Best-of-7
(Lightning wins series 4-3)
Tuesday [5/25]: Calgary 4, Tampa Bay 1
Thursday [5/27]: Tampa Bay 4, Calgary 1
Saturday [5/29]: Calgary 3, Tampa Bay 0
Monday [5/31]: Tampa Bay 1, Calgary 0

It took two games, but the Lightning and Flames have built up a healthy hatred for each other.

The teams combined for 124 minutes in penalties, including 108 in the third period, after Calgary fell behind 3-0 and then 4-0.

"We played (Game 1) like we didn't hate that team," Lightning wing Martin St. Louis said.

That changed in the final period of Game 2, which was marked by one scrum after another.

The Flames' frustration boiled at 8:31 in the third period when Calgary enforcer Chris Simon challenged Lightning wing Andre Roy to a fight after Roy's skate clipped Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff 's.

Roy received a standing ovation as he went to the dressing room.

"I had no intention (of fighting)," Roy said. "I don't know what happened, I guess Kiprusoff took a dive or something, a European thing. All I saw was Simon coming after me. I saw Kiprusoff, I didn't even know what happened. He was down doing the faking. Simon came, and we did what we had to do. That's part of the playoffs, I guess."

The ill will likely will spill into Game 3 Saturday in Calgary.

Roy threatened defenseman Andrew Ference as he skated past the Lightning bench at the end of the game.

"It's going to be two teams clawing to win the Cup," Ference said. "That's the way we look at it. They're trying to take it away from us. You try to play hockey as hard as you can whether that be forechecking or finishing a check or fighting or whatever it takes to achieve that goal in a seven-game series."

Is Richards a lucky charm?

Whatever Brad Richards is drinking or eating, whatever his pregame routine, every Tampa Bay player should get with the program. Get this: when Richards scores, the Lightning is 7-0 this postseason and 29-0-2 during the entire season.

He has nine playoff goals, including six winners, which ties a single-season record. "You score goals throughout the game you hope are big goals," he said. "The goal tonight was just to get that two-goal cushion (2-0). Ends up they score and I get the game winner. That's not what you are thinking of." Leading the charge

One day after coach John Tortorella said Nikolai Khabibulin would have to be the player to lead the Lightning's resurgence from its Game 1 loss, the Tampa Bay goalie was unflappable in net.

Khabibulin stopped 18 of 19 shots and came within 7 minutes, 39 seconds of recording his fifth shutout of the postseason.

"I didn't hear (Tortorella's comment)," Khabibulin said. "I'm not going to say anything in the locker room, but I'm trying to go out on the ice and give 100 percent every time and hopefully when I make a save or something it helps the team feel more confidence."

Khabibulin was especially important in the first period, when the Lightning had to kill four penalties and was short-handed for 7:26.

"We took some unnecessary penalties in the first period we were able to kill," Khabibulin said. "Once we got out of the first period (ahead) 1-0, I think we felt more comfortable."

Watch your step

The officials seemed to respond to Tim Taylor's comments after Game 1 that obstruction/holding went uncalled too often.

There were six penalties in the first period, four against the Lightning, for what appeared to be minor infractions. In what could be interpreted as a makeup call, one Calgary power play late in the period was short-circuited by a holding penalty on Sean Donovan.

Nice duds

The Lightning apparently has a new fan.

Perhaps you noticed Detroit Pistons coach Larry Brown wore a Martin St. Louis jersey during his postgame news conference on Wednesday after the Pistons played the Pacers in the NBA's Eastern Conference final.

"Wonder why that was?" Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk said.

Andreychuk was kidding, of course. Pistons owner Bill Davidson also owns the Lightning.

"We got fans coming out of the woodwork," Richards said.

St. Louis heard about Brown wearing his jersey. He said he had never met the NBA coach, but follows the NBA on television.

"Obviously, it's pretty cool," St. Louis said about Brown's latest wardrobe choice. "It's pretty flattering."

Primeau is Lecavalier's model

Vinny Lecavalier generally tries to throw a few body checks early to get revved up and into a game. But after the Lightning center saw how intensely Flyers captain Keith Primeau played in the East final, he said he knew he had to kick it up a notch.

"I'm trying to be more physical," Lecavalier said. "I look at a guy like Primeau in Philly, how well he was playing, so I'm trying to get involved as much as I can."

Especially early.

"Any time you start a game and hit a lot, you're in the game," he said. "When you start a game and you don't hit it seems like you're a little sluggish the whole game. It seems like you're not into it. Every shift, the first couple, especially, you have to get involved."

Defenseless

Lightning defensemen have scored twice in the playoffs - Dan Boyle's tally in Game 4 of the East semifinal against Montreal and his third-period goal Thursday - after combining for 40 during the regular season.

But Tortorella said the statistic is no indication of their play.

"Sometimes, when you get in these type of situations, you have some assignments defensively and you end up concentrating in those type situations," Tortorella said. "But I have no real explanation for it. ... But I think our defense has played very well and has done a real good job in pitching in to create offense. Sometimes, it doesn't amount to points, but you know, we just go about our business and try to get better."

[Last modified May 28, 2004, 01:11:03]

Today's lineup
Lightning

  • Reignited!
  • Flames take out frustrations
  • Game 2: period by period
  • Goalie comparison
  • Hockey is the best medicine
  • Lecavalier goes in with a bang
  • Lecavalier play simply fit for the Great One
  • Meet the man who keeps them on edge
  • Richards' 2003 is now net gain
  • Simon fitting in with Flames
  • Slapshots
  • Soundbites

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