TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ When it was suggested to Rhett Warrener that his team was
not as aggressive as usual, the Calgary Flames' defenseman nodded slowly in
``Yup,'' he said. ``They outworked us and outplayed us. That's two pretty
The Flames gave up a rare first-period goal and then compounded the problem
by failing on five power plays in the first 23 minutes Thursday night. It all
added up to a 4-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup
Throughout the playoffs, the opening 20 minutes were kind to the Western
Conference champions. Calgary had gone nine straight games without allowing a
first-period goal, but that playoff-record run ended when Ruslan Fedotenko made
it 1-0 at 7:10.
It was only the fifth goal yielded in the opening frame by the Flames in 21
While giving credit to the Lightning for their intense play, it was clear
that the Flames blamed themselves for not capitalizing on their numerous
``We got outworked, we got outhit, we got outhustled, we got outmuscled _
all the kind of outs. Now we're out of Tampa,'' said Ville Nieminen, who scored
the Flames' lone goal.
As raucous as the crowds will be for Games 3 and 4 in Calgary, the Flames
have found their comfort zone on the road. Even with the loss, they are 9-3
away from home, thus assuring a trip back to Tampa for a fifth game in the
``In our locker room there is no finger pointing,'' Nieminen said. ``That's
a Calgary Flames hockey team. Whoever felt they were outworked needs to be
better, and there's 20 guys.''
Quick starts are what the sixth-seeded Flames have thrived on in their
unlikely run to the finals. They are 11-1 when scoring first and are unbeaten
when leading after any period in the postseason.
``They got that early goal and we couldn't take advantage on the power play.
That takes a little momentum out of you,'' forward Stephane Yelle said.
So the Flames will return home tied 1-1 for the third time in four series.
The early goal could have been neutralized if Calgary's power play posed any
kind of threat. The Flames were given four opportunities, including an
advantage when Tampa Bay was whistled for too many men on the ice, but managed
only two shots.
``We just have to go back to basics,'' Yelle said. ``Maybe we're trying too
hard to do the plays that are not there. When you go back to doing the simple
things, that's when you get back on track and you're successful.''
It's the same story for Calgary, which bucked the odds by reaching the final
despite an anemic power play. In going 1-for-7 in the game, the Flames fell to
11-for-95 in the postseason.
``Our power play had a chance to make a difference. But all the way around,
they outcompeted us on the power play,'' captain Jarome Iginla said. ``We've
got to be sharper, we've got to be more intense. It's happened to us before.
They were more desperate than us and they deserved to win.''
Nieminen scored a power-play goal in the third period, but by then the
Flames were four goals behind.
``We had a chance to get a lead in the first period. We needed to do that,''
Miikka Kiprusoff kept his team alive for two periods by making several good
stops, mostly with his glove and blocker. But he was quite beatable in the
third, when the Lightning scored three goals in the first six minutes.
``Kipper kept us in it, gave us a chance, but we just weren't good enough,''