TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Lightning were back to their old form -- from the days they didn't make the playoffs.
The Lightning came out flat, allowed three goals in the first 12 minutes and never recovered, losing 6-2 to the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals Monday night.
"Sometimes a good spanking is good for you," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "We won't get too low from this."
The loss snapped Tampa Bay's eight-game playoff winning streak and ended an eight-game winning streak against the Flyers that dated to last season.
Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is Thursday night in Philadelphia, where the Flyers are 6-0 in the playoffs.
"Whether we lose 6-2 or 13-0, it doesn't matter," defenseman Dan Boyle said. "It's one game. They came out hungrier."
The Lightning, in the playoffs for just the third time in the franchise's 12 seasons, nearly swept their way through the first two rounds, winning eight of nine against the New York Islanders and Montreal Canadiens. They took a 1-0 lead over the Flyers with a 3-1 victory Saturday.
But on Monday night, the Lightning looked more like the losing team fans were accustomed to seeing instead of like the No. 1 seed in the East. Fans booed the Lightning off the ice at the end of the first period, and many left the arena before the third period started.
"Now we have some adversity. It's good for us," center Brad Richards said.
Tampa Bay's speed was supposed to give the Flyers problems, but the Lightning haven't looked like the faster team in the first two games. They won Game 1 because two miscues by the Flyers in their own zone led to goals.
And then Khabibulin, who came in with a 1.00 goals-against average, came completely unraveled. He was pulled just six minutes into the second period after giving up his fourth goal on just 12 shots.
"Nik is strong enough mentally to handle something like this," Tortorella said.
Tampa Bay had eight days off between games after sweeping Montreal in the conference semifinals. The Lightning were sluggish in the first period of Game 1, but the Flyers couldn't take advantage of early opportunities, missing on a two-on-none breakaway and two two-on-ones.
This time, the Flyers capitalized on their chances.
The Lightning had a chance to cut into the deficit in the opening minute of the second period, but Esche stopped a point-blank shot by Ruslan Fedotenko.
By the time Tampa Bay finally scored, midway through the third period, the Flyers already led 6-0.
"We did some good things offensively. We created more chances than in Game 1," St. Louis said. "They came out flying. They got a couple breaks, and it's a different game when you have to come back."
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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