Flames Fizzle in Florida

D'Arcy McGrath

March 14th, 2002

Hey ... everyone needs a vacation, a breather, a moment to refresh and refocus, sending a happy worker back to the job ready for action.

However, for the Calgary Flames a break to Roman Turek quite often if not always means a leave from success, or a vacation from winning.

And that was the case on Thursday night in Tampa when the Lightning turned back the Flames by a 3-2 margin.

Too often this season a start from a backup goaltender basically means a loss in on the way, and at this important stage of the season, that's fire the Flames just can't afford to play with.

Face Offs Hits
Powerplay Chances Shots on Goal

The Flames got themselves into trouble early in this one.

By the end of the first period they trailed the Lightning by two goals by Dave Andreychuk and Brad Richards due to some defensive breakdowns, and some solid goaltending at the other end by Nikolai Khabibulin.

With the game at 1-0 for example, Marc Savard sent Craig Conroy in all alone, only to be turned away by the acrobatic Russian stopper. It wouldn't be his last show stopper of the evening.

From there it was an uphill battle that required a solid second and third to get back into things.

The Flames moved to within one goal when Toni Lydman turned a great offensive read into a fortuitous bounce to net his fifth of the season. Lydman took the puck down the wall, beat his man in the corner and took the puck to the Bolt's slot only to have it hit a stick and flip over Khabibulin's shoulder.

The Flames out shot the Lightening by a 13-7 mark in the second period and likely should have tied it or even moved ahead.

In the third period the Flames did draw even when Steve Begin backhanded a low shot through Khabibulin's pads to garner his sixth goal of the season.

Things looked to be setting up nicely for a team building come from behind win, a win that would pad an already successful road trip.

Someone forgot to tell the Lightning.

Midway through the third period Bob Boughner took a slashing penalty that sent the Lightning to the powerplay.

With just under a minute left on the man advantage Pavel Kubina fired a shot that hit a Flames defenceman's leg and beat Mike Vernon short side to put the Bolts back up a goal.

The goal turned out to be the game winner, in a loss that cripples the Flames with the Oilers and Canucks both winning on the same night.




Tampa Bay Lightning 3
Calgary Flames 2

Box Score


Savard Conroy Iginla
McAmmond Savard Clark
Wright Begin Petrovicky
-- Shantz Berube
Morris Buzek
Gauthier Lydman
Boughner Kravchuk


1) Brad Richars - Super sophomore scores once and adds an assist to pace the Bolts 

2) Nikolai Khabibulin - Russian stopper made the difference in this one, surrendered only two goals on 32 shots. 

3) Steve Begin - Continues to do his part for the score by committee action plan, notching his sixth goal on the season with limited ice time.


At the very end of the game Tampa's Jassen Cullimore stopped Jarome Iginla with a crunching thump that led to a shoving match and minor penalties.


A pick more due to timing than difficulty ... Khabibulin stopped Craig Conroy on a breakaway late in the first period with the score sitting a 1-0 Tampa. A goal by Calgary there likely results in a much different game.


Jarome Iginla picked up an assist to move his point streak to nine games, but once again appeared to be snake bitten in Florida. He beat Khabibulin cleanly in the first period only to have his shot glance off the post. ... The Oilers and Canucks both won on the night leaving the Flames in 11th, six points out of a playoff spot. The continued torrid pace by the Phoenix Coyotes now has Dallas as the target for the three Western Conference teams. Without a major win streak by one of aforementioned clubs it looks like all three may be on the outside looking in, meaning the West will have eight American teams for the first time. ... Iginla led the Flames with six shots on goal on the night, tied with his linemate Craig Conroy. No Lightning player had more than three shots. ... The Flames managed only 16 body checks on the night, a total that seems very low compared to the team average. Conroy and Clarke Wilm led the team with two apiece. The Lightning had 22 hits including four from Vincent Lecavalier and Cullimore. ... The two teams spent over 24 minutes in the Lightning's zone, compared to only 21 minutes in the vicinity of Mike Vernon.