St. Petersburg Times
Tampa Bay Lightning
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By Times Staff
Published June 1, 2004

[Times photo: Dirk Shadd]
Khabibulin and Corey Stillman stave off the attempt of Calgary's Jarome Iginla.
Main story
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John Romano: Game's most important player also its best
Gary Shelton: Lightning survives brutal battle of attrition
Period by period coverage
Supporting cast combines for lead role in win
Fans defend their fair weather and flip-flops
Early chance yields an early reward
Sound bites
The goalies
Non-deal led to final for Turek, Lightning
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Click on each score for the main story from each game
(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

Kubina, Fedotenko sit out

The Lightning's injury list grew. The latest is defenseman Pavel Kubina, who did not play in Game 4 on Monday because of a lower body injury.

Kubina joined right wing Ruslan Fedotenko on the sideline. Fedotenko, who has 10 goals in the playoffs, was slammed into the dasher during Game 3.

"Obviously, other guys have to step up," veteran centerTim Taylor said. "And not just individually, but as a team."

Kubina was leading the Lightning defensemen in ice time during the playoffs, averaging 22:19 in 19 games. A physical presence, Kubina frequently was charged with neutralizing the opponent's dominant player. His plus-minus rating for the playoffs is even, and he has four assists.

Fedotenko, who sustained a deep gash in his right check and was described as dizzy after being hit by defenseman Robyn Regehr on Saturday, did not skate Monday morning. He is day to day, Lightning coach John Tortorella said.

"He's been a force out there, but it's time for other guys to step up," forward Martin St. Louis said. "You can't feel bad about it if guys can't go. You have to move on and have other guys stepping up."

Shuffling the lineup

With Fedotenko out, Tortorella shuffled his lines like a Las Vegas blackjack dealer. And there was a bit of gambling going on there, too.

Center Brad Richards started on Fedotenko's left wing spot on the top line with Vinny Lecavalier and St. Louis, putting all of Tampa Bay's top scoring threats together.

The second line consisted of three wings: Fredrik Modin, Cory Stillman and Dmitry Afanasenkov. Dave Andreychuk anchored the checking line with wings Tim Taylor and Andre Roy. Center Martin Cibak and wing Ben Clymer saw action in their first Stanley Cup final, playing sporadically on the fourth line with Chris Dingman.

"We knew there were going to be a lot of different combinations," said Richards, who played wing and center. "We had two guys who haven't been in the lineup for awhile. But when you get this far, it doesn't really matter what the lines are. You just go out and play. Wing, center, defense, it doesn't matter. We just want to get out there and do something for the team."

Lecavalier leveled

Another Lightning star went down in Game 4. Lecavalier had his head smashed against the boards with 4:13 left and did not return.

The Lightning said Lecavalier sustained an inch-and-a-half cut on the side of his head that went to the bone and needed 10 stitches to close. Team doctors ordered Lecavalier not to speak to the media apparently because he still was dizzy. He brushed by the media to the showers under his own power after the game and did not appear wobbly.

"He'll be fine," Tortorella said.

Tortorella, though, appeared irritated by the hit, Ville Nieminen, with plenty of speed built up, used his elbow to hit Lecavalier from behind. Lecavalier's head went into the glass, and his helmet came off.

"There is no need for something like that," Lightning defenseman Brad Lukowich said. "Everybody out there is working hard, laying it on the line. There is just no need for that."

Lecavalier lay on the ice for several minutes, and Nieminen was given a five-minute major penalty for boarding. After the penalty, Lecavalier rose to his feet and skated off. Calgary's Jarome Iginla, believing Lecavalier faked being hurt to draw a penalty, yelled at Lecavalier. After the game, though, Iginla lowered his temperature.

"I can't blame him. I would have, too," he said. "It's a penalty, but is it five? I don't know. It's not for me to decide. ... But I would have done the same thing. It was a penalty, but maybe a two."

Khabibulin unsure about World Cup

Lightning goalie Nikolai Khabibulin was named Monday to play for Russia in this summer's World Cup tournament. Whether he plays is another story.

Khabibulin said he still is unsure about his participation despite the recent firing of legendary coach Viktor Tikhonov, with whom Khabibulin has a poor relationship, in favor of former national team defenseman Zinetula Bilyaletdinov.

Tikhonov apparently will remain with the Russian Ice Hockey Federation as a consultant. But Khabibulin said, "I know what a consultant means over there."

Asked the chances he will play," Khabibulin said, "I'm not even going to worry about it until after the playoffs."

St. Louis and Richards will play for Canada, Modin for Sweden and Kubina for the Czech Republic.

Flames unhappy but blame themselves

Calgary was not pleased at having to play with a two-man disadvantage barely two minutes into the game. Defenseman Mike Commodore was called for holding Modin in front of the Flames goal and Chris Clark for cross-checking Nolan Pratt after the whistle. Pratt shoved back, but no penalty was called.

"I got the penalty," Clark said. "I deserved it."

The Flames said they were more concerned about their failure to score than the Lightning's five-on-three.

"You don't see that every day, and it's tough to take on the other side of it. But that's hockey," Iginla said. "It's hard not to comment on it because it's frustrating. But we also have to look at ourselves. Even with the way those things went, we should have found a way to score a goal."

Messing with his routine

Flames wing Oleg Saprykin likes to shoot a puck into the Lightning net after pregame warmups. After Monday morning's skate, Dingman said, "If he wants to do that, it's not going to affect anything."

But after the pregame skate, Dingman turned the Lightning net so the opening faced the end board. Saprykin fired a puck into the back of the net to the approval of the crowd.

Lightning to sign draft choices

Tampa Bay is expected to announce the signings of several draft choices today. Teams had until midnight to sign North American junior players selected in 2002. Unsigned players are eligible to return to the draft. There is no deadline for signing European draftees. Expected to be signed are forwards Adam Henrich (second round) and Darren Reid (eighth round) and defenseman Paul Ranger (sixth round).

[Last modified June 1, 2004, 01:00:29]

Today's lineup

  • Nik of time
  • Period by period coverage
  • Supporting cast combines for lead role in win
  • Fans defend their fair weather and flip-flops
  • Early chance yields an early reward
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