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Slapshots

Gruesome sight

Times staff writers
Published May 30, 2004

In a series full of hard hits and nasty plays, Ruslan Fedotenko was the victim of a gruesome injury late in the Lightning's 3-0 loss.

With 5:47 left, Fedotenko was slammed face first into the boards by Calgary defenseman Robyn Regehr.

Fedotenko was chasing a puck in the corner when he became tangled with Regehr. His left arm was pinned behind him by Regehr, and his right arm was dangling behind him holding his stick. When Regehr checked him hard, he could not get either arm in front of him to protect himself.

Fedotenko's face went into the edge of the board just below where the boards hold the glass. He laid on the ice for several minutes but skated off. There was a deep gash in his right cheek.

The Lightning reported he had a "facial cut and was dizzy." He will be re-evaluated today. It is believed he spent Saturday night in a Calgary hospital and likely suffered a concussion.

Rough boys

It's rare to see a fight in a Stanley Cup final game. It's almost unheard of to see two of the most skilled players duking it out.

But early in Game 3, the Lightning's Vinny Lecavalier dropped his gloves and started punching the Flames' Jarome Iginla. The two traded cross-checks and slashes in the Lightning zone. "That's part of the game," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "Two of the best players going at it. There's nothing the matter with that."

The fight was the sixth of the series, the most since the 1986 final between the Flames and Canadiens.

Miikka the Magnificent

Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff joined elite company with his shutout. He is the third goalie with shutouts in all four playoff rounds.

Detroit's Dominik Hasek did it in 2002, and New Jersey's Martin Brodeur in 2003.

"The reason we're here is because of Kipper," Iginla said. "He does what he does every game. Tonight, he was the main reason we did win. The reason we're here is he is the best goalie in the league."

A new record

The two shots the Lightning allowed in the first set a team record for fewest in a period. The former record of four was set in 1996 against the Flyers and matched last season against the Capitals.

Stillman knew beating was coming

Remember that fight in the third period of Game 2 between Tampa Bay wing Cory Stillman and Calgary defenseman Andrew Ference? Stillman said Saturday that Flames wing Marcus Nilson told him during their first shift together there would be payback for the elbow Stillman threw at Nilson in Game 1.

"I knew it was coming," Stillman said. "It's part of the game. It's better it's over with."

Stillman, whose only other fight was in October 2000 against Phoenix's Travis Green, said he wasn't hurt, though Ference got the best of the battle.

"I didn't get welts all over my face from the pummeling I took," Stillman said. "I'm not going to back down. I'm not going to sit there and turtle. I can take a few punches."

Cullimore plays despite danger

Lighting defenseman Jassen Cullimore said warnings that he faced surgery and more than six months of rehab if he reinjured his right wrist were not enough to keep him from playing in the Stanley Cup final.

Cullimore was hurt in Game 3 of the East quarterfinal with the Islanders. He returned to the lineup for Game 7 of the East final with the Flyers. He said his conditioning was better than he thought it would be, and his wrist "has gotten better and (is) not getting worse."

As for the consequences of reinjury, Cullimore said, "It's not something you say doesn't matter because it does."

But when it comes to playing in the Cup final, "These type of things you're willing to risk."

Home away from no home

Most of the Lightning players seemed happy to get on the road for a couple of games and escape the distractions of home.

None was happier to get away than defenseman Dan Boyle , who is staying in a Tampa hotel because of the fire that ruined his house Tuesday.

"It's good to get away from all of that," Boyle said. "It has been a distraction, but it's good to travel and get here and think about nothing but hockey."

The front office is doing its part for Boyle, helping him deal with insurance issues.

"Once this is over, and for a lot of the summer, that's what I'll be dealing with," Boyle said. "When I get back from all this, I'll have a lot of work ahead of me. But for now, I'm not thinking about anything but hockey, and it's nice that I'm away from all that now."

The worst part for Boyle is finding clothes. His wardrobe was destroyed, and he hopes to spend part of today shopping. Until then, he is borrowing from teammates.

Trip of a lifetime

It was a long journey, but Joseph and Kenyette Shorter of Land O'Lakes were at the Saddledome for Game 3. And everything was free. The couple won an online contest sponsored by Calgary Tourism.

"We were jumping all over the house," said Joseph, 33, who goes to Lightning games with his work manager.

The couple left home at 6:45 a.m. Friday, flew from Tampa to Fort Lauderdale, rented a car, drove to Miami, flew to Toronto and, finally, landed in Calgary at midnight. On Saturday, they had a steak dinner before taking in the game from prime seats in the second level, where their Lightning hats and T-shirts stuck out among the sea of red Flames jerseys.

"Everyone's been very accommodating," said Kenyette, 31. "We're being treated like royalty."

Ready for the kicker?

"This is my first hockey game," Kenyette said. "This is big stuff."

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