Skip to main content

Headlines

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Calgary Flames

NHL.com @NHL
Lightning-Flames Preview

GAME: Tampa Bay Lightning at Calgary Flames.

PLAYOFF SERIES: Stanley Cup finals; Flames lead, 2-1.

TIME: Monday, 8 p.m. EDT.

Team captain Jarome Iginla set the tone for the Calgary Flames as they won Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals.

Vincent LeCavalier and the Tampa Bay Lightning hope to take the momentum right back in Game 4 at the Pengrowth Saddledome.

Iginla, known as one of the league's most productive point producers, used his fists to get the Flames going Saturday night in Calgary. The 6-foot-1, 208-pound right wing engaged in a first-period scuffle with the 6-4, 207-pound LeCavalier - a rare brawl between superstars that displayed just how heated the series has become.

While LeCavalier held his own in the fight, the Iginla and the Flames clearly benefitted most in the aftermath.

Iginla helped break a scoreless tie in the second period when he set up Chris Simon's goal, and added a power-play tally himself late in the third as the Flames cruised to a 3-0 win behind the brilliant goaltending of Miikka Kiprusoff, who stopped 21 shots.

The victory was the Flames' first finals win in Calgary since they captured the Cup in 1989. Many of the Flames cited Iginla's early show of toughness as the spark they needed to avenge a disappointing 4-1 loss in Tampa Bay on Thursday.

"I think that fight was huge and really set the tone physically for us," Simon said. "They've got a lot of skill and we know we had to establish a physical presence."

Iginla insisted he didn't set out to start a fight, but liked what happened after it.

"We didn't get a lot of shots in the first period, but we were very physical. That carried into the second," Iginla said. "... The fight is just part of the intensity out there; everybody knows what's on the line."

As for LeCavalier, his evening didn't go nearly as well after the fight with Iginla. LeCavalier's errant pass behind from behind the Calgary net resulted in a 2-on-1 break, ending in a goal by Shean Donovan with 2:51 left in the second period, giving the Flames a 2-0 cushion.

"It went through someone's legs, a defenseman," Lecavalier said of the pass. "It's a bad break, but we didn't score a goal. So even if he didn't score on that opportunity, it was still 1-0."

The Flames, out of the playoffs for seven straight seasons until being revived by coach Darryl Sutter, hope to halt Tampa Bay's monthlong trend of following a playoff loss with a win. The Lightning have alternated wins and losses for nine straight games, three short of New Jersey's 12-game streak in 1988.

"That's the way it's been all playoffs for us," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "We need to get the next one."

Lecavalier understands the dangers of falling behind 3-1 to the feisty Flames.

"We have to get back (to playing) like we did the first couple of series," he said. "I know it's the finals and it's tougher, but we definitely have to be more consistent."

The winning team has scored first in all three games in the series thus far. Calgary is 12-1 and Tampa Bay 11-2 in this season's playoffs when scoring first.

"You always want to get the first goal, and we didn't get it (Saturday)," Lecavalier said.

Calgary has won two straight at the Saddledome and is 5-5 at home during the postseason. Tampa Bay won its first five road playoff games, but has dropped three straight.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Lightning - 1st seed; beat New York Islanders 4-1, East quarterfinals; beat Montreal Canadiens 4-0, East semifinals; beat Philadelphia Flyers 4-3, East finals. Flames - 6th seed; beat Vancouver Canucks 4-3, West quarterfinals; beat Detroit Red Wings 4-2, West semifinals; beat San Jose Sharks 4-2, West finals.

PLAYOFF TEAM LEADERS: Lightning - Ruslan Fedotenko, 10 goals; Martin St. Louis, 14 assists and 21 points; Chris Dingman, 63 PIM. Flames - Iginla, 12 goals and 20 points; Craig Conroy, 11 assists, Simon, 72 PIM.

PLAYOFF SPECIAL TEAMS: Lightning - Power play: 19.0 percent (16 for 84). Penalty killing: 86.6 percent (58 for 67). Flames - Power play: 13.1 percent (13 for 99). Penalty killing: 84.8 percent (89 for 105).

GOALTENDERS: Lightning - Nikolai Khabibulin (13-6, 4 SO, 1.81 GAA); John Grahame (0-0, 3.64). Flames - Miikka Kiprusoff (13-8, 4, 1.95); Roman Turek (0-0, 0.00).


Associated Press
View More