Flames strike Lightning in Game 5
TAMPA, Fla. (CP) - The Calgary Flames are one win away from bringing
the Stanley Cup back to Canada.
Oleg Saprykin scored 14:40 into overtime to lead the Flames to a 3-2
victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in a riveting, end-to-end match
on Thursday night.
The Flames hold a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven final series and can
claim the second Stanley Cup in franchise history and their first
since 1989 with a win in Game 6 on Saturday night in Calgary.
``It's 60 minutes away to all our dreams,'' said captain Jarome
They are vying to be the first Canadian-based team to win the Cup
since Montreal in 1993. And they got to within one win of their goal
with a victory in the most entertaining match of the series thus far.
``It was an up and down game,'' said Iginla, who set up Saprykin's
winner and scored a goal in the second period.
``I think everybody on both teams realized how close the Stanley Cup
is. Everyone was giving absolutely everything.''
Calgary's Martin Gelinas and Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis traded
goals in the first period. After Iginla gave the Flames a 2-1 lead
in the second, Lightning winger Fredrik Modin tied it with a power
play goal 37 seconds into the third.
The surprise was that Calgary, which usually reverts to stifling
defence when it takes a lead, kept the attack on full and even
swapped chances with the skilful Lightning after Gelinas opened the
scoring on a power play 2:13 into the game.
The Flames dominated the first two periods, outshooting Tampa Bay 14-
3 in the second alone and forcing Nikolai Khabibulin to make several
``It wasn't the plan,'' a grinning Iginla said of the often wide-open
hockey. ``It's just something that happened by accident.
``We had our fair share of 2-on-1's and 3-on-2's and they had theirs,
too. That's not really our team. But we found a way to win a
different game that's not usually our style.''
Lightning coach John Tortorella was left fuming at his club's effort,
saying his star players, who are St. Louis, Brad Richards and Vincent
Lecavalier, weren't at their best for much of the match.
``You're not going to win a Game 5 of the finals playing a 40-minute
game,'' said Tortorella. That simply comes back and grabs you.
``We finally found our game in the third period after we scored our
goal and I thought we played a decent overtime, but it comes back to
bite you when the other team wins all the battles in the first 40
The Flames seemed energized by coach Darryl Sutter's insinuation that
the NHL was working against them, using that as motivation to survive
the loss of super-pest Ville Nieminen and improve to 4-0 in Game 5s
during these playoffs.
All four of those wins have come on the road. It was their 10th road
win of the post-season, tying the record for one playoff year set by
the New Jersey Devils in 1995 and in 2000.
The St. Pete Times Forum was rimmed in white, although sprinkled with
some red Calgary jerseys, as 22,426 fans were handed Go Bolts T-
Shirts at the door in a bid to create a White Wave in response to the
Sea of Red at Flames' home games.
They pounded their ThunderStix together when Modin, only six seconds
into a power play early in the third period, beat a helpless Miikka
Kiprusoff from the doorstep after a perfect feed from Richards to tie
And late in the third frame, St. Louis came close to giving the home
side the win when he tried to jam a puck in at the side of the net.
But after close calls at both ends in overtime, Saprykin slid the
rebound of Iginla's shot under Khabibulin to settle the match.
``It's a great feeling for every guy in our room,'' said Saprykin.
``The guys battled so hard and every guy deserved it.''
Calgary outshot the Bolts 36-27 overall in a game in which both
goaltenders made spectacular saves.
``We talked after the game that we're not dead yet,'' said Lightning
veteran Dave Andreychuk, who is seeking a first Stanley Cup in his 22-
year career. ``We have won in their building before.''
The Flames were incensed that Tampa Bay was given a 5-on-3 advantage
early in Game 4 Monday, which the Lightning used to score the only
goal in a 1-0 win.
This time, it was Modin who was sent off 1:43 into the match and the
Flames made them pay.
Toni Lydman, back after missing 20 playoff games with a concussion,
slid a weak shot from the point that Gelinas redirected between
Khabibulin's legs. It was Lydman's first career playoff point.
``He's one of those high-end skill guys that we missed,'' Sutter said
St. Louis picked up a loose puck behind the net after two Flames
collided and put a backhand shot between Kiprusoff's legs that might
not have crossed the goal-line had it not been nudged in while
Calgary defenders, including Rhett Warrener, lunged to sweep it from
Iginla restored the Calgary lead when he skated down the right side
and picked the inside of the far post with a wrist shot. It was his
league-leading 13th goal of the playoffs.
There were major line-up changes on both sides, as Nieminen served
his one-game suspension for hitting Vincent Lecavalier from behind in
Game 4 and was replaced by Dave Lowry.
Lydman, out since Game 4 of the opening round against Vancouver,
bumped little-used Mike Commodore from the line-up.
Defenceman Pavel Kubina and winger Ruslan Fedotenko returned for
Tampa Bay after missing Game 4 with injuries.
More surprisingly, former Flame Cory Stillman, an 80-point man in the
regular season who had one assist in his last eight games, was
scratched in favour of Martin Cibak. And Ben Clymer replaced
defenceman Brad Lukowich.
Notes: The Lightning once again thwarted Calgary's ritual of shooting
pucks into the Tampa Bay net at the end of the pre-game warm-up by
turning the net around. One puck hit the back of the net. ... The
rock group Cheap Trick entertained fans outside the arena before the