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Game 6: Period by period

Summaries and statistics from Calgary.

By STEVE LEE
Published June 6, 2004

Period 1: A much better start

This was not about to be a repeat of Game 5, when the Lightning did not start playing until the third period. The Lightning came out strong, skating hard and getting to the loose pucks.

Both teams had chances, but neither got the upper hand thanks to continued solid play by the two best goaltenders throughout the playoffs.

Tampa Bay, 6-0 after a playoff loss with an 18-5 scoring advantage this season, played its best period since the first period of Game 4.

The Lightning's best chance came on a Dave Andreychuk backhander about midway through. Think the 22-year veteran, who has played 1,758 games but does not have a ring, wants to play another game?

THE POSITIVE: The Lightning did not trail and were not outplayed in the first period of what could be the final game of the season. Oh yeah, they realized that, and it showed.

THE NEGATIVE: Cory Sarich pushed Martin Gelinas into the net, resulting in a penalty and late Calgary power play. Ruslan Fedotenko also put the Lightning short-handed.

KEY PLAY: With Khabibulin on the wrong corner of the crease, Darryl Sydor blocked a wraparound attempt by Craig Conroy at the left post in the second minute. That kept the Flames from scoring that all-important first goal.

KEY PLAYER: Lightning defenseman Pavel Kubina blocked shots and intercepted passes, thwarting the Flames time and again in the defensive zone. His best moments came with the Lightning short-handed.

First-period statistics

Scoring

LIGHTNING: None.

FLAMES: None.

Penalties

LIGHTNING: Andreychuk (elbowing),

2 minutes, 11:59; Sarich (interference), 2 minutes, 16:34; Fedotenko (interference), 2 minutes, 19:01.

FLAMES: Ference (hooking), 2 minutes, 11:59.

Shots on goal

LIGHTNING: 6 (Andreychuk, 2; Boyle, 1; Lecavalier, 1; Sarich, 1; Sydor, 1).

FLAMES: 6 (Conroy, 1; Gelinas, 1; Iginla, 1; Lydman, 1; Saprykin, 2).

Period 2: Back and forth, still tied

Saying his fourth line was the Lightning's best in Game 5, coach John Tortorella called out his best players to step up. Brad Richards answered with not one, but two power-play goals.

Those were just two of the four goals in the period, which ended tied at 2.

Richards' first goal actually was a centering pass for Dave Andreychuk in front that deflected off goalie Miikka Kiprusoff's blocker. His second, a wrister after a steal from Marcus Nilson, restored Tampa Bay's one-goal lead before Calgary tied it again.

Calgary scored on Chris Clark's tap-in of Ville Nieminen's centering pass. Its second came in a 2-on-1 with Nilson redirecting a pass from Oleg Saprykin.

THE POSITIVE: Tampa Bay scored first, a welcome sign. The Lightning came in 12-2 when scoring first. Better still, Richards scored. Tampa Bay entered 30-0-2 when Richards scores.

THE NEGATIVE: Tampa Bay twice squandered one-goal leads. The Lightning collapsed on defense and allowed the Flames to bang away at loose pucks in front of Nikolai Khabibulin until Clark scored. Nilson added a late goal to tie it.

KEY PLAY: Tampa Bay was less than three minutes from ending the period with a 2-1 lead before Nilson's tip-in tied it. Dan Boyle tried to knock down a high pass but Saprykin picked up the loose puck and found Nilson alone in front of Khabibulin for the goal.

KEY PLAYER: Richards has been the Lightning's best player in the final and he came through again. His 11th and 12 playoff goals made him the leading scorer in the playoffs with 24 points heading into the final period.

Second-period statistics

Scoring

LIGHTNING: Richards, 11 (St. Louis, Fedotenko), 4:17 (power play); Richards, 12 (unassisted), 10:52 (power play).

FLAMES: Clark, 3 (Yelle, Nieminen), 9:05; Nilson, 4 (Saprykin, Ference), 17:48.

Penalties

LIGHTNING: None.

FLAMES: Leopold (interference), 2 minutes, 2:34; Conroy (obstruction-hooking), 2 minutes, 9:25.

Shots on goal

LIGHTNING: 5 (Clymer, 1; Kubina, 1; Richards, 2; Sydor, 1).

FLAMES: 13 (Clark, 1; Conroy, 1; Iginla, 1; Nilson, 3; Oliwa, 2; Regehr, 1; Simon, 2; Yelle, 2).

Period 3: No decision in 60 minutes

For the second straight game Tampa Bay and Calgary ended regulation tied at 2.

Tampa Bay had to wait another period to try to improve on its 6-3 road mark; the Flames were eager to even their 5-6 home record.

For the second time in the game, neither team scored but the Flames pressured more.

THE POSITIVE: Tampa Bay remained alive despite being outplayed. Perhaps the best part was that Jarome Iginla, who had a goal and an assist in Calgary's Game 5 win, was not a factor.

THE NEGATIVE: Tampa Bay had two power-play goals in the second, but failed to convert on two man-advantage situations this period.

KEY PLAY: The puck appeared to cross the goal line when it hit Nikolai Khabibulin's right pad off Martin Gelinas' skate as he raced in for a rebound of Oleg Saprykin's shot. That could have given Calgary the lead. But the goal judge did not turn on the red light and the puck was dropped before a decision could come in on a replay.

KEY PLAYER: Khabibulin, lucky on the no-goal, helped the Lightning by warding off every challenge. He was especially good down low.

Third-period statistics

Scoring

LIGHTNING: None.

FLAMES: None.

Penalties

LIGHTNING: Cullimore (interference),

2 minutes, 11:18.

FLAMES: Conroy (hooking), 2 minutes, :45; Simon (cross-checking), 2 minutes, 8:38.

Shots on goal

LIGHTNING: 7 (Cibak, 1; Modin, 1; Richards, 2; Sarich, 2; Stillman, 1).

FLAMES: 7 (Clark, 1; Gelinas, 2; Regehr, 1; Saprykin, 2; Warrener, 1).

Game 7, here they come

In one of the most unpredictable Stanley Cup final series ever, the Lightning revived its offense in the first overtime. Conversely, the Flames did not get off a shot until the seventh minute.

The second overtime lasted 33 seconds with Martin St. Louis putting a rebound up and over Miikka Kiprusoff to send the series back to Tampa.

THE POSITIVE: There will be a Game 7 Monday night at the St. Pete Times Forum. The Lightning's best season in its 12-year history is not over yet.

THE NEGATIVE: Inconsistent play once again plagued the Lightning and almost cost the season.

KEY PLAY: At 9:50, Nikolai Khabibulin made perhaps the save of the game. He took the puck off his chest at the top of the crease to smother Marcus Nilson's redirection of Dave Lowry's lead pass.

KEY PLAYER: St. Louis scored the biggest goal of his career. His fourth of the series and ninth of the playoffs gave the Lightning a chance to win the Cup at home .

Overtime statistics

Scoring

LIGHTNING: St. Louis, 9 (Taylor, Cullimore), :33 (2).

FLAMES: None.

Penalties

LIGHTNING: None.

FLAMES: None.

Shots on goal

LIGHTNING: 7-2 - 9 (Lecavalier, 1-0 - 1; Modin, 2-0 - 2; Pratt, 1-0 - 1; Richards, 1-0 - 1; Sarich, 1-0 - 1; St. Louis, 0-1 - 1; Sydor, 1-0 - 1; Taylor 0-1 - 1).

FLAMES: 7-0 - 7 (Montador, 1-0 - 1; Nieminen, 1-0 - 1; Nilson, 2-0 - 2; Saprykin, 2-0 - 2; Yelle, 1-0 - 1).

[Last modified June 6, 2004, 03:27:02]

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