Final

Tampa Bay won 4-3 (Game 3 of 7)

Tampa Bay won 4-3

Game 1: Saturday, May 8th
Flyers1Final
Lightning3
Game 2: Monday, May 10th
Flyers6Final
Lightning2
Game 3: Thursday, May 13th
Lightning4Final
Flyers1
Game 4: Saturday, May 15th
Lightning2Final
Flyers3
Game 5: Tuesday, May 18th
Flyers2Final
Lightning4
Game 6: Thursday, May 20th
Lightning4Final
OT
Flyers5
Game 7: Saturday, May 22nd
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Lightning2

7:00 PM ET, May 13, 2004

Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1 2 3 T
TB 2 0 24
PHI 0 0 11

N. Khabibulin (Lightning - G): Saves: 24, Save Pct.: .960

K. Primeau (Flyers - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

C. Stillman (Lightning - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Lightning 5-0 on the road in the playoffs

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Even Philadelphia's notoriously hostile crowd didn't bother the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 24 shots, helping the Lightning defeat the Flyers 4-1 on Thursday night and take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

Cory Stillman, Ruslan Fedotenko, Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards scored for Tampa Bay, which improved to 5-0 on the road in the playoffs. The Flyers were 6-0 at home this postseason.

"This building is tough to play in. The fans are always yelling at you," Lightning forward Martin St. Louis said. "But we keep it simple on the road. We don't try to put on a show. We just battle and try to limit the mistakes."

Game 4 is Saturday in Philadelphia.

The Lightning quickly rebounded from a 6-2 loss in Game 2, scoring two goals in a span of 2:24 to take control in the first period.

Robert Esche, who had been superb in the playoffs, failed to catch one of the shots and let the other bounce off his glove.

The Flyers dominated the second period, but couldn't break through the "Bulin Wall" as Khabibulin made 13 saves.

"Some shots I didn't see, but guys stepped up and blocked them and they cleared a few rebounds," Khabibulin said. "That makes life a lot easier for a goalie."

After Keith Primeau's goal cut it to 2-1 and energized the sellout crowd in the opening minute of the third period, the Lightning scored 43 seconds later to silence the fans.

"That goal took the air out of us and the building," Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said.

Tampa Bay has won six of seven against Philadelphia this year, including all four meetings in the regular season, and nine of 10, dating to last year.

Stillman gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead with a wrist shot from just outside the left circle that sailed under Esche's glove.

"There's no disguising it, it was a bad goal," Esche said.

Fedotenko, a former Flyer, made it 2-0 less than three minutes later with a power-play goal. His slap shot hit Esche's glove and trickled into the net.

Primeau scored his sixth playoff goal just 36 seconds into the third period to cut the deficit in half. But Lecavalier quickly answered with a breakaway goal.

"You want to get life from a goal, but they turn around and score right away and that makes it tough," Flyers forward Mark Recchi said.

Richards put the game away with his sixth playoff goal almost halfway through the third period.

After a physical third period Monday night in which the teams combined for 25 penalties, both teams controlled their emotions until a couple fights broke out with :04 remaining.

Primeau twice knocked Lightning defenseman Cory Sarich off his feet with consecutive hard hits in the second period. Primeau then picked up a loose puck and centered a pass to Radovan Somik, who hit the post.

"We weren't as tenacious on the puck in the first period," Primeau said.

Early in the first period, some of the frenzied, orange-clad fans began shouting, "Shut your yap" at Lightning coach John Tortorella, who made the same comment to Hitchcock on Wednesday.

Tortorella was upset that Hitchcock yelled at Lightning players in Game 2. An angry Hitchcock said his players are being slashed on the backs of their legs, and he won't keep quiet about it.

"We have two quality teams here. Both teams are trying to get to a bigger spot and the road is not big enough for both," Tortorella said.

Esche finished with 22 saves in his worst outing of the playoffs. He stoned Fredrik Modin just over a minute into the game with a glove save on a point-blank shot from the slot, but it was one of the only highlights for the goalie.

Game notes


Flyers defenseman Marcus Ragnarsson left early in the first period with a hand injury. The extent of the injury should be known Friday. ... The Flyers have scored first in 11 of their 14 playoff games. They are 0-3 when they don't score first. ... Fedotenko was traded along with two second-round picks to Tampa Bay for the fourth overall pick in the 2002 entry draft. The Flyers chose defenseman Joni Pitkanen with the pick. Pitkanen was a healthy scratch the last two games. ... Lightning defenseman Pavel Kubina committed three penalties that led to power plays for Philadelphia. ... The Flyers were 0-for-5 on the power play.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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