Flames Draw First Blood In Tampa 

Early Fluke Goals Paves Way to Series Lead 

May 25th, 2004

Fifteen years ago tonight the Calgary Flames flooded the Forum ice in Montreal to celebrate their first and only Stanley Cup Championship.

Tonight the Flames took to the ice again, this time in Tampa Bay, Florida, to begin their seven game series with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

On this night, in a different era, a very different Flames roster proved once again that they will bend, but often they won't break in handing the Tampa Lightning only their third loss at home in this post by a final score of 4-1.

The Flames showed a little six day rust early with the Lightning taking the play to the Flames despite not generating many blue chip scoring chances.

The visitors weathered the storm well, hitting the scoresheet first on a fluke goal credited to Martin Gelinas. On the play Andrew Ference took the puck down the blueline and then flipped the puck at the net. The puck hit a defender then Gelinas skate and then bounced to goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin who inadvertently put it in his own net.

The play was sent upstairs for review, but stood when video tape showed Gelinas didn't move his skate in a kicking motion towards the net.

The Flames drew first blood in another fashion later in the period when the Flames effectively killed their first penalty against the high powered man advantage crew of the Lightning, by not permitting a shot. In fact it was the Flames, and specifically Chris Clark who came the closest short handed when he missed wide on a two on one.

The Flames had a late powerplay and showed the very same ineffective unit we've seen in these playoffs.

The Flames were hemmed in early in the second period and were lucky to keep the Lightning to the outside, avoiding a deadlock on the scoreboard.

Tampa came up empty on their second powerplay of the night when Robyn Regehr was sent off for holding. Later, the game changed on a dime when Andrew Ference was chased to the box for hooking Martin St. Louis on a good Bolt chance.

With Ference cooling his heels Jarome Iginla dashed in on a breakaway, got stoned by the glove hand of Khabibulin but had presence of mind to bring the puck back out and tuck it in the empty net.

Calgary forward speed led to their third goal, also in the second period, when Stephane Yelle got in quickly and forced Dan Boyle to cough up the puck, then calmly rounded the net and fired it high on Khabibulin.

That left the stunned Tampa crowd, spoiled to the tune of a 7-2 record on home ice this season, to the concourse for beer with the home side down 3-0 in game one of the cup final.

Things got a little more interesting than coach Sutter would have liked in the third with Ville Nieminen taking a silly penalty and Martin St. Louis converting on a powerplay. The goal may be changed to Fredrik Modin as it appeared he got a stick on the puck as it crossed the line.

"They work so hard", Brad Richards told CBC after the game. "They're always moving their feet. They're relentless".

The relentless Flames take a 1-0 series lead setting up another "gravy" game in game two as they had both in the Detroit and San Jose series. The Flames will be looking to duplicate their Shark success and put a strangle hold on the cup final before returning to Calgary.

"Obviously this team has done this before", said captain Dave Andreychuk after the game. "They're not looking for the split. This is a must win for us"

The Flames are now one win closer to the ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup, a feat accomplished just 15 short seasons ago.





1 Jarome Iginla - Scored the back breaking goal for the Flames that gave the visitors some breathing room. 

2 Rhett Warrener - A rock in his own zone. He blocked shots, broke up two on ones and dominated down low. 

3 Miikka Kiprusoff - Solid in the first half of the game with the game in doubt.

With the Flames up 1-0 in the first period Martin St. Louis found himself alone at the side of the Calgary net, one timing a shot that Miikka Kiprusoff deflected away with his shoulder.

The game began on a rough note with two or three big hits in the first frame including Chris Clark on Brad Lukowich, and Andre Roy on Chris Clark.

The Lightning entered the game completely healthy but had two players; Brad Lukowich and former Flame Chris Dingman shaken up in twenty minutes with Calgary. ... How many times will CBC call Andrew Ference Brad before somewhat sorts out which guy is the Coyote and which guy plays in Calgary? ... The vaunted Tampa powerplay was 1-5 on the night, and essentially 0 for 5 when you consider Iginla's empty net goal. "We have a lot of respect for Tampa's powerplay. We got a lucky bounce on that shorthanded goal, it wasn't anticipation or anything". ... Two late Calgary powerplays gave the Flames a one for four mark on the night. ... The Flames The ice in Tampa was similarly bad to the rough ice in San Jose in the conference final. "We just kept it simple in the third period", said Stephane Yelle. ... Teams that win game one of the Stanley Cup have gone on to take the trophy 80% of the time. ... The Lightning out shot the Flames 10 to five in the first period but the teams were all even at 14 apiece for the final two periods. The Bolts had 14 shots on goal through 24 minutes, but only 10 the rest of the way. ... At this time of year it's all about results, but Calgary fans have to be excited to see the effect Calgary forechecking and speed had on the Lightning blueline. Brad Lukowich, Dan Boyle and others had trouble, giving the puck up when forced to make quick decisions. ... The Flames only won 46% of the faceoffs on the night, Marcus Nilson and Chuck Kobasew were under water. ... Once again the duo of Andrew Ference and Rhett Warrener led the way in ice time with roughly 27 minutes apiece. Robyn Regehr was just 90 seconds short. ... Two forwards, Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis led the Lighting with 25 plus minutes.

Gelinas Conroy Iginla 
Nieminen Nilson Donovan 
Simon Yelle Clark 
Lowry Kobasew Saprykin

Regehr Montador 
Ference Commodore 
Warrener Leopold

  Back to Calgarypuck.com
Read other Stories
Talk About it!