Flyers look to win Game 6 at home
TAMPA, Fla. -- Once again, the Philadelphia Flyers felt they played better than the final result showed.
The Tampa Bay Lightning won Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals 4-2 Tuesday night, leaving the Flyers with the difficult task of having to win the last two games of the series -- including Game 7 on the road -- to reach the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since 1997.
They think they can do it.
"We will be confident," Flyers captain Keith Primeau said. "Obviously we would have preferred to be going home up 3-2, but we're not. We just have to prepare and focus for Game 6. We have to win one game. That's what we will focus on for the next two days."
Game 6 is Thursday night in Philadelphia. A Flyers win would send the series back to Tampa for a seventh game Saturday night.
"I think we can come back ... that's what I am hoping," Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said.
"But this group from my standpoint, they don't have to do anything more than they have done already this year to prove to me they are special. They don't have to go any further. This is really up to us now how far we want to go. We will play very well in Game 6, I know that."
The Flyers won Games 2 and 4 convincingly and feel they could have taken at least one or two others, including Tuesday night's game.
After falling behind 3-0, Philadelphia rallied with goals by Michal Handzus and Patrick Sharp within a 38-second span of the second period. But in the end, there were just too many wasted scoring opportunities.
The Flyers were 0-for-3 on the power play, compared with Tampa Bay's 3-for-4.
"You don't want to get down 3-nothing on the road, but even when we were down 1-nothing, we had one line that had five unbelievable chances," Hitchcock said.
"They had their skilled players on the ice for two of the goals. ... But from our standpoint, you are not going to come into another team's building this late and outplay them. We just have to finish on the opportunities we have."
Philadelphia forward Jeremy Roenick said the Flyers will bounce back.
"I don't know that there's frustration in our locker room. I think we definitely feel as a team that we have owned a better part of the series," Roenick said.
"They have played extremely well. I am not taking anything away from them. They have had some big games by some big people, as we have. But we don't get frustrated. We know we are up against a great hockey club. But we realize we are a great hockey club, too."
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press